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Physiol Plant. 2002 Aug;115(4):613-622.

Isolation and characterization of a Chlamydomonas gene that encodes a putative blue-light photoreceptor of the phototropin family.

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Institut für Biologie III, Institut für Biologie II, Universität Freiburg, Schaenzlestrasse 1, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.


In the search for a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii photoreceptor that may mediate blue-light-induced responses we identified a gene that encodes a protein with a structure typical for that of members of the phototropin family, i.e. two LOV domains that may function in flavin mononucleotide binding and a ser/thr kinase domain. The amino acid sequences of these domains are closely related to those of higher plant phototropins. This single-copy gene (Phot) encodes a protein with a calculated molecular mass of 81.4 kDa which is distinctly smaller than the homologous proteins of higher plants that exhibit molecular masses around 120 kDa. Expression analyses revealed rather constant levels of Phot mRNA and Phot protein in vegetative cells incubated in the dark and in cells undergoing gametogenesis. Only vegetative cells in the light showed a reduced expression of the Phot gene. Cell fractionation studies revealed that the protein is membrane-associated. In higher plants, phototropins were shown to be bound to the plasma membrane. However, the expression of a Phot-GFP gene fusion in tobacco protoplasts revealed an association of the fusion protein with the endogenous membrane network of the cell.


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