Send to

Choose Destination
J Plant Res. 2017 May;130(3):423-431. doi: 10.1007/s10265-017-0908-6. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Sexual reproduction and sex determination in green algae.

Author information

Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Japan Women's University, 2-8-1 Mejirodai, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-8681, Japan.


The sexual reproductive processes of some representative freshwater green algae are reviewed. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular volvocine alga having two mating types: mating type plus (mt+) and mating type minus (mt-), which are controlled by a single, complex mating-type locus. Sexual adhesion between the gametes is mediated by sex-specific agglutinin molecules on their flagellar membranes. Cell fusion is initiated by an adhesive interaction between the mt+ and mt- mating structures, followed by localized membrane fusion. The loci of sex-limited genes and the conformation of sex-determining regions have been rearranged during the evolution of volvocine algae; however, the essential function of the sex-determining genes of the isogamous unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is conserved in the multicellular oogamous Volvox carteri. The sexual reproduction of the unicellular charophycean alga, Closterium peracerosum-strigosum-littorale complex, is also focused on here. The sexual reproductive processes of heterothallic strains are controlled by two multifunctional sex pheromones, PR-IP and PR-IP Inducer, which independently promote multiple steps in conjugation at the appropriate times through different induction mechanisms. The molecules involved in sexual reproduction and sex determination have also been characterized.


Chlamydomonas; Closterium; Sex determination; Sexual reproduction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center