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New Phytol. 2011 Apr;190(2):279-88.

Multiple facets of anoxic metabolism and hydrogen production in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Many microbes in the soil environment experience micro-oxic or anoxic conditions for much of the late afternoon and night, which inhibit or prevent respiratory metabolism. To sustain the production of energy and maintain vital cellular processes during the night, organisms have developed numerous pathways for fermentative metabolism. This review discusses fermentation pathways identified for the soil-dwelling model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, its ability to produce molecular hydrogen under anoxic conditions through the activity of hydrogenases, and the molecular flexibility associated with fermentative metabolism that has only recently been revealed through the analysis of specific mutant strains.

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