Identification of Genes Required for Hydrogenase Activity in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

M. C. Posewitz, P. W. King, S. L. Smolinski, R. Davis Smith, A. R. Ginley, M. L. Ghirardi, M. Seibert

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81 Scopus Citations


The eukaryotic green alga, Chlamydamonas reinhardtii, produces H 2 under anaerobic conditions, in a reaction catalysed by an [FeFe]-hydrogenase. To identify genes that influence H2 production in C. reinhardtii, a library of 6000 colonies on agar plates was screened with sensitive chemochromic H2-sensor films for clones defective in H 2 production. Two mutants of particular interest were fully characterized. One mutant, hydEF-1, is unable to assemble an active [FeFe]-hydrogenase. This is the first reported C. reinhardtii mutant that is not capable of producing any H2. The second mutant, sta7-10, is not able to accumulate insoluble starch and has significantly lowered H 2-photoproduction rates in comparison with the wild-type. In hydEF-1, anaerobiosis induces transcription of the two reported C. reinhardtii hydrogenase genes, HydA1 and HydA2, indicating a normal transcriptional response to anaerobiosis. In contrast, the transcription of both hydrogenase genes in sta7-10 is significantly attenuated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)102-104
Number of pages3
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-590-38657


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • H photoproduction
  • Hydrogenase
  • Insertional mutagenesis
  • Metalloprotein assembly
  • Starch


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