A wide variety of inhibitors (drugs, antibiotics, and antimetabolites) will block cell division within an ongoing cell cycle in autotrophic cultures of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. To determine when during the cell cycle a given inhibitor is effective in preventing cell division, a technique is described which does not rely on the use of synchronous cultures. The technique permits the measurement of transition points, the cell cycle stage at which the subsequent cell division becomes insensitive to the effects of an inhibitor. A map of transition points in the cell cycle reveals that they are grouped into two broad periods, the second and fourth quarters. In general, inhibitors which block organellar DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis have second-quarter transition points, while those which inhibit nuclear cytoplasmic macromolecular synthesis have fourth-quarter transition points. The specific grouping of these transition points into two periods suggests that the synthesis of organellar components is completed midway through the cell cycle and that the synthesis of nonorganellar components required for cell division is not completed until late in the cell cycle.

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