Chemical Screening for Flagella-Associated Phenotypes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1795)


Flagella of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are nearly identical to cilia of vertebrate cells and provide an excellent model to study ciliogenesis. Cilia and flagella are important organelles used for motility and sensing the extracellular environment. Abnormalities in cilia structure or ciliary dysfunction can have devastating consequences ranging from diabetes and obesity to polycystic kidney disease and mental retardation. Small-molecule inhibitor libraries can be used to screen for flagellum-associated phenotypes in assembly, length, motility, deflagellation, and cellular toxicity. These phenotypes can be assessed from direct microscopic visualization and custom-designed assays. These methods identify fundamental regulators of ciliary biology as well as potential therapeutic interventions for ciliopathies.

Key words

Chemical screen Motility Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Flagellar length 



We would like to thank all the members of the Avasthi Lab for the critical reading of the manuscript. This work was funded by P20 GM104936-09 (PA) and NSF GRFP 1518767 (BJ). Thanks to Soumita Dutta for providing images of healthy and contaminated cells for Fig. 1.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anatomy and Cell Biology DepartmentThe University of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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