A structural and biochemical study is presented concerning the agglutination of gametic flagella, the initial step in the mating reaction of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. An alteration in the distribution of the intramembranous particles revealed by freeze-fracturing of flagella membranes is shown to accompany gametic differentiation in both mating types. The isolation and electrophoretic analysis of flagellar membranes and mastigonemes are reported; no electrophoretic differences can be detected when the membrane or mastigoneme glycoproteins from vegative and gametic cells are compared, nor when glycoproteins from the two mating types are compared, and no novel polypeptides are present in gametic preparations. The membrane vesicles, after they are freed of mastigonemes by sedimentation through a discontinuous sucrose gradient, are extremely active as an isoagglutinin, indicating a direct involvement of the membrane in the mating reaction.

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