The axoneme is the basic functional unit of the eucaryotic flagellum. Periodic structures appended to its 9+2 microtubule core are responsible for generation of flagellar bending. An account of biochemical and genetic studies of flagellar-defective mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is presented. These studies provide insights into the complex molecular composition of the appended structures, their mode of assembly, and the way in which they interact to modulate flagellar function.

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