Strains of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with a mutant allele at the BOP2 locus swim slowly and have an abnormal flagellar waveform similar to previously identified strains with defects in the inner arm region. Double mutant strains with the bop2-1 allele and any of 17 different mutations that affect the dynein arm region swim more slowly than either parent, which suggests that the bop2-1 mutation does not affect solely the outer dynein arms, the I1 or ida4 inner dynein arms, or the dynein regulatory complex. Flagellar axonemes isolated from bop2-1 cells are missing a phosphorylated polypeptide of 152 kD. Electron microscopic analysis shows that bop2-1 axonemes are missing density in the inner dynein arm region. Surprisingly, two populations of images were observed in longitudinal sections of axonemes from the bop2-1 strain. In the 10 longitudinal axonemes examined, a portion of the dynein regulatory complex and a newly identified structure, the projection, are affected. In five of these 10 longitudinal axonemes examined, two lobes of the ida4 inner arm are also missing. By examining the cross-sectional images of wild-type and bop2-1 axonemes at each outer doublet position around the axoneme, we have determined that the bop2-1 mutation affects the assembly of inner arm region components in a doublet specific manner. Doublets 5, 6, and 8 have the most severe deficiency, doublet 9 has an intermediate phenotype, and doublets 2, 3, 4, and 7 have the least severe phenotype. The bop2-1 mutation provides the first evidence of radial asymmetry in the inner dynein arm region.

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