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Cell Motil. 1985;5(1):53-60.

Bending patterns of Chlamydomonas flagella: II. Calcium effects on reactivated Chlamydomonas flagella.


Ca2+ has profound effects on the movement of cilia and eukaryotic flagella, including those of Chlamydomonas. Two clear changes seen in Chlamydomonas flagella with changes in Ca2+ are beat frequency and symmetry. Photographic and computer assisted analysis of flagellar bending patterns on a uniflagellate mutant of Chlamydomonas have been used to examine details of the effects of Ca2+ on the movement of ATP-reactivated, demembranated flagella. In addition to the forward mode bending pattern seen at low Ca2+ concentrations (10(-9)M), which has a frequency of about 50 Hz and the reverse mode bending pattern seen at high Ca2+ concentrations (10(-4)M) with a frequency around 70 Hz, we carefully examined bending patterns in the intermediate Ca2+ concentration range of 1-6.5 X 10(-6)M. In this intermediate range, the bending patterns have significantly reduced asymmetry and slightly increased frequency, compared to the motility observed at low Ca2+ concentrations. These observations indicate that changes in these two parameters of motion do not occur in parallel and suggest that the effects of Ca2+ may be a multicomponent process. Physiologically, these changes in the beat pattern at intermediate Ca2+ may signal either 1) the beginning stages of transition to the symmetrical, high-frequency beating seen at high Ca2+, or 2) a more normal forward mode motility for the trans flagellum as suggested by Kamiya and Witman [1984]. No large amplitude bending patterns associated with transitions between forward and reverse mode beating in intact cells were seen at the intermediate Ca2+ concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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