Patrick J. Ferris

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Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land(More)
The multicellular green alga Volvox carteri and its morphologically diverse close relatives (the volvocine algae) are well suited for the investigation of the evolution of multicellularity and development. We sequenced the 138-mega-base pair genome of V. carteri and compared its approximately 14,500 predicted proteins to those of its unicellular relative(More)
Diploid cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that are heterozygous at the mating-type locus (mt+/mt-) differentiate as minus gametes, a phenomenon known as minus dominance. We report the cloning and characterization of a gene that is necessary and sufficient to exert this minus dominance over the plus differentiation program. The gene, called mid, is located(More)
The mating-type locus of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exists as two apparent alleles (mt+ and mt-) that control mating in haploid gametes and sporulation and meiosis in diploid mt+/mt- zygotes. Twelve genes, seven unrelated to life cycle transitions, are tightly linked to mt, suggesting that the locus exerts recombinational suppression. A 1.1 Mb chromosome(More)
Sexual fusion between plus and minus gametes of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii entails adhesion between plus-specific and minus-specific "fringe" proteins displayed on the plasma membrane of gametic mating structures. We report the identification of the gene (fus1) encoding the plus fringe glycoprotein, which resides in a unique domain(More)
Portions of the cloned mating-type (MT) loci (mt(+) and mt(-)) of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, defined as the approximately 1-Mb domains of linkage group VI that are under recombinational suppression, were subjected to Northern analysis to elucidate their coding capacity. The four central rearranged segments of the loci were found to contain both housekeeping(More)
Although dimorphic sexes have evolved repeatedly in multicellular eukaryotes, their origins are unknown. The mating locus (MT) of the sexually dimorphic multicellular green alga Volvox carteri specifies the production of eggs and sperm and has undergone a remarkable expansion and divergence relative to MT from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which is a closely(More)
Biological speciation ultimately results in prezygotic isolation-the inability of incipient species to mate with one another-but little is understood about the selection pressures and genetic changes that generate this outcome. The genus Chlamydomonas comprises numerous species of unicellular green algae, including numerous geographic isolates of the(More)
Six cDNA clones have been identified that are complementary to transcripts present in young zygotes of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii but absent from vegetative and gametic cells. Five early transcripts are synthesized within 5 to 10 min of fertilization; the sixth, late, transcript is not synthesized until 90 min following fertilization. Synthesis of both(More)
While pursuing a chromosomal walk through the mt+ locus of linkage group VI of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, I encountered a 12-kb sequence that was found to be present in approximately 12 copies in the nuclear genome. Comparison of various C. reinhardtii laboratory strains provided evidence that the sequence was mobile and therefore a transposon. One of two(More)