Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 393–397 | Cite as

Effects of calcium channel blockers on phototaxis and motility of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

  • Wilhelm Nultsch
  • Jürgen Pfau
  • Reiner Dolle
Original Papers


The effects of the four calcium channel blockers flunarizine, verapamil, diltiazem and nimodipine on motility and phototaxis of Chlamydomonas reinhardtio have been tested with a fully automated and computerized population system. Flunarizine inhibits motility transiently by causing the detachement of the flagella which, however, are regenerated during some hours. Phototaxis is inhibited to the same extent, but this is simply the result of the decreased motility and, hence, a non-specific effect. Verapamil causes also a detachement of the flagella with following regeneration, but in addition motility and phototaxis are inhibited by this drug to different extents, indicating the involvement of calcium channels in both processes. Diltiazem and nimodipine inhibit phototaxis without impairing motility, indicating that both processes are regulated in different ways. If diltiazem and nimodipine are applied simultaneously, no additive inhibitory effect can be observed. However, the combination of both blockers with verapamil causes and additive inhibitory effect as if verapamil is applied alone. By increasing the external calcium concentration from 10-4 M to 10-3 M the optimum of positive phototaxis is shifted to higher fluence rates. This shifting occurs also in the presence of channel blockers, but the strength of the positive reaction is influenced. These results point to the involvement of calcium channels in both phototaxis and motility, but simultaneously demonstrate the different sensitivity of the two processes to these drugs.

Key words

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Phototaxis Motility Flagellates Flagellar movement Calcium Calcium channel blockers 



diltiazem (=benzothiazepine)


flunarizine (=(E)-1-(bis-(4-fluorophenyl(methyl)-4-(3-phenyl-2-propenyl)piperazinex2HCl)


nimodipine (=1,4-dihydropyridine)


verapamil (=diphenylalkylamine) CaM, calmodulin






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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Nultsch
    • 1
  • Jürgen Pfau
    • 1
  • Reiner Dolle
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches InstitutFachbereich Biologie der Philipps-Universität MarburgMarburg 1Federal Republic of Germany

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