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Curr Genet. 2008 Jan;53(1):1-22. Epub 2007 Nov 9.

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: a convenient model system for the study of DNA repair in photoautotrophic eukaryotes.

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Department of Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynska dolina B1, 84215 Bratislava, The Slovak Republic.


The green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a convenient model organism for the study of basic biological processes, including DNA repair investigations. This review is focused on the studies of DNA repair pathways in C. reinhardtii. Emphasis is given to the connection of DNA repair with other cellular functions, namely the regulation of the cell cycle. Comparison with the results of repair investigations that are already available revealed the presence of all basic repair pathways in C. reinhardtii as well as special features characteristic of this alga. Among others, the involvement of UVSE1 gene in recombinational repair and uniparental inheritance of chloroplast genome, the specific role of TRXH1 gene in strand break repair, the requirement of PHR1 gene for full activity of PHR2 gene, or encoding of two excision repair proteins by the single REX1 gene. Contrary to yeast, mammals and higher plants, C. reinhardtii does not appear to contain the ortholog of RAD6 gene, which plays an important role in DNA translesion synthesis and mutagenesis. Completed genome sequences will be a basis for molecular analyses allowing to explain the differences that have been observed in DNA repair of this alga in comparison with other model organisms.

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