A new Chlamydomonas flagellar mutant, pf-28, which swims more slowly than wild-type cells, was selected. Thin-section electron microscopy revealed the complete absence of outer-row dynein arms in this mutant, whereas inner-row arms and other axonemal structures appeared normal. SDS PAGE analysis also indicated that polypeptides previously identified as outer-arm dynein components are completely absent in pf-28. The two ATPases retained by this mutant sediment at 17.7S and 12.7S on sucrose gradients that contain 0.6 M KCl. Overall swimming patterns of pf-28 differ little from wild-type except that forward swimming speed is reduced to 35% of the wild-type value, and cells show little or no backward movement during photophobic avoidance. Mutant cells will respond to phototactic stimuli, and their flagella will beat in either the forward or reverse mode. This is the first report of a mutant that lacks dynein arms that can swim.

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