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PLoS Genet. 2013;9(9):e1003841. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003841. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Whole genome sequencing identifies a deletion in protein phosphatase 2A that affects its stability and localization in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.


Whole genome sequencing is a powerful tool in the discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and small insertions/deletions (indels) among mutant strains, which simplifies forward genetics approaches. However, identification of the causative mutation among a large number of non-causative SNPs in a mutant strain remains a big challenge. In the unicellular biflagellate green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we generated a SNP/indel library that contains over 2 million polymorphisms from four wild-type strains, one highly polymorphic strain that is frequently used in meiotic mapping, ten mutant strains that have flagellar assembly or motility defects, and one mutant strain, imp3, which has a mating defect. A comparison of polymorphisms in the imp3 strain and the other 15 strains allowed us to identify a deletion of the last three amino acids, Y313F314L315, in a protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit (PP2A3) in the imp3 strain. Introduction of a wild-type HA-tagged PP2A3 rescues the mutant phenotype, but mutant HA-PP2A3 at Y313 or L315 fail to rescue. Our immunoprecipitation results indicate that the Y313, L315, or YFLΔ mutations do not affect the binding of PP2A3 to the scaffold subunit, PP2A-2r. In contrast, the Y313, L315, or YFLΔ mutations affect both the stability and the localization of PP2A3. The PP2A3 protein is less abundant in these mutants and fails to accumulate in the basal body area as observed in transformants with either wild-type HA-PP2A3 or a HA-PP2A3 with a V310T change. The accumulation of HA-PP2A3 in the basal body region disappears in mated dikaryons, which suggests that the localization of PP2A3 may be essential to the mating process. Overall, our results demonstrate that the terminal YFL tail of PP2A3 is important in the regulation on Chlamydomonas mating.

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