Dorit van‐Moppes, Ze'ev Barak, David M. Chipman, Natan Gollop, Shoshana (Malis) Arad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The unicellular red alga Porphyridium sp. is, like many bacteria, fungi and higher plants, sensitive to the sulfonylurea herbicide sulfometuron methyl (SMM). However, the minimal inhibitory concentration for SMM in Porphyridium (55 μM) is higher than in green plants. We isolated a spontaneous SMM‐resistant mutant SMR1 of Porphyridium sp. by use of a double‐layered agar technique. The mutation frequency and the similarity of the mutant's morphology and growth patterns to the parent strain strongly suggest that SMR1 is a single gene mutation. The activity of the enzyme acetohydroxy acid synthase (AHAS) in crude extracts of the mutant SMR1 is at least two orders of magnitude less sensitive to SMM than that of the parent strain, which indicates that AHAS is the target of SMM (as has been shown in a variety of organisms). We propose that such a mutation, the first isolated in a unicellular rhodophyte, would be a useful marker for genetic studies of Porphyridium. It may also be useful for maintaining unialgal cultures in large scale open ponds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989


  • Porphyridium
  • genetic mutants
  • herbicide resistance
  • red algae
  • sulfonylurea herbicides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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