Chlamydomonas reinhardi y-1 cells grown in the dark in the presence of chloramphenicol (CD cells) are depleted of photosynthetic membranes and 70S translates. These cells were found to be unable to synthesize chlorophyll in the light until chloroplast protein synthesis was resumed. On the other hand, CD cells acquired the capacity to partially green in the presence of cycloheximide. This greening was characterized by the development of photosynthetic activity, as demonstrated by light-dependent oxygen evolution of whole cells and by measurements of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase and fluorescence kinetics. The chlorophyll synthesized de novo during greening in the absence of 80S ribosomal activity was organized in chlorophyll-protein complexes, as ascertained by low-temperature fluorescence-emission spectra. The morphology of these cells appeared to be normal. A model has been proposed as a working hypothesis, which could account for the phenomena described above and previously reported data pertaining to chloroplast development.

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