Author (Your Name)

Heide Girardin, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Chemistry Dept.


David Bourgaize


The green alga Volvox carteri exhibits a virtual absence of protein synthesis in the dark, but begins synthesizing proteins necessary for growth and development almost immediately after exposure to the light. The regulation of protein synthesis in this system is known to be translational since extracts prepared in the dark have identical pools and quantities of mRNA as extracts prepared in the light (Kirk and Kirk, 1983). Exploration of the mechanism of translational regulation has led us to consider the importance of signal transduction pathways. By using a variety of commercially available drugs that affect specific components of known signaling pathways, we have been able to propose a preliminary model for a signal transduction pathway which regulates translation in Volvox via a photoreceptor which responds to light and the second messenger, cyclic-guanosine monophoshate (cGMP). In addition, assays for cGMP have confirmed this model.


Volvox, Cellular signal transduction

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