Turnover of chloroplast and cytoplasmic ribosomes during gametogenesis in Chlamydomonas reinhardi

Nancy C. Martin, Kwen Sheng Chiang, Ursula W. Goodenough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


A number of novel observations on ribosomal metabolism were made during gametic differentiation of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Throughout the gametogenic process the amount of chloroplast and cytoplasmic ribosomes decreased steadily. The kinetics and extent of such decreases were different for each of the two ribosomal species. Comparable rRNA degradation accompanied this ribosome degradation. Concurrent with the substantial ribosome degradation was the synthesis of rRNA, ribosomal proteins and the assembly of new chloroplast and cytoplasmic ribosomes throughout gametogenesis. The newly synthesized chloroplast ribosomes exhibited distinctively faster turnover than their cytoplasmic counterpart. Cytoplasmic ribosomes, pulse-labeled in early gametogenic stages, retained label until differentiation was nearly complete even though a net decrease in the level of cytoplasmic ribosomes continued, indicating that the newly synthesized cytoplasmic ribosomes were preferentially retained during differentiation. Hence the regulation of ribosome metabolism during gametogenesis contrasts with the conservation of ribosomes obtained during vegetative growth of C. reinhardi and other organisms. This unique pattern of ribosome metabolism suggests that new ribosome synthesis is necessary during gametogenesis and that some specific structural or functional difference relating to the development stage of the life cycle might exist between degraded and newly synthesized ribosomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-201
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 1976
Externally publishedYes


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