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FEBS Lett. 2002 Oct 2;529(1):34-8.

Chlamydomonas, a model system for studying the assembly and dynamics of photosynthetic complexes.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, 30 Quai Ernest Ansermet, 1211 4, Geneva, Switzerland. jean-david.rohaix@molbio.unige


The green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has emerged as a powerful model system for studying the biosynthesis of the photosynthetic apparatus and the acclimation of this system to changes in light conditions. The assembly of the photosynthetic complexes involves the coordinate interaction between the nuclear and chloroplast genetic systems. Many factors involved in specific chloroplast post-transcriptional steps have been identified and characterized. Chlamydomonas is able to adapt to changes in light quality and in cellular ATP content by performing state transition, a process that leads to a redistribution of light excitation energy between photosystem II and photosystem I and that involves the redox state of the plastoquinone pool, the cytochrome b(6)f complex and one or several kinases specific for the light-harvesting system. Genetic approaches have provided new insights into this process.

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