center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


Distinguishing between competing models of organelle size control

October 22, 2012

Wallace Marshall and colleagues have developed new microfluidic trapping and laser microsurgery techniques to distinguish between two predominant models (induced versus constitutive) for organelle size control.

Using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii flagella as their model system, the investigators measured two flagella on a single cell as they equilibrated after amputation of one of the flagellum. Their results, published recently in Current Biology, suggest that cells determine flagellar length by constitutive control, whereby size is a balance between continuous assembly and disassembly.