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© 2016 Seed, Tomkins. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Induction of sexual reproduction in the facultatively sexual Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is cued by depletion of nitrogen. We explore the capacity for indirect monitoring of population variation in the gametogenic process using flow cytometry. We describe a high-throughput method capable of identifying fluorescence, ploidy and scatter profiles that track vegetative cells entering and undergoing gametogenesis. We demonstrate for the first time, that very early and late growth phases reduce the capacity to distinguish putative gametes from vegetative cells based on scatter and fluorescence profiles, and that early/mid-logarithmic cultures show the optimal distinction between vegetative cells and gamete scatter profiles. We argue that early/mid logarithmic cultures are valuable in such high throughput comparative approaches when investigating optimisation or quantification of gametogenesis based on scatter and fluorescence profiles. This approach provides new insights into the impact of culture conditions on gametogenesis, while documenting novel scatter and fluorescence profile shifts which typify the process. This method has potential applications to; enabling quick high-throughput monitoring, uses in increasing efficiency in the quantification of gametogenesis, as a method of comparing the switch between vegetative and gametic states across treatments, and as criteria for enrichment of gametic phenotypes in cell sorting assays.
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