Cells of a cell wall deficient line (cw15-type) of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and of the corresponding wild type were grown during repetitive light-dark cycles. In a direct comparison, both lines showed approximately the same relative biomass increase during light phase but the cw-line produced significantly more and smaller daughter cells. Throughout the light period the average cellular starch content, the cellular chlorophyll content, the cellular rate of dark respiration and cellular rate of photosynthesis of the cw-line was lower. Despite this, several non-cell volume related parameters like the development of starch content per cell volume were clearly different over time between the strains. Additionally, the chlorophyll-based photosynthesis rates were two fold higher in the mutant than in the wild type cells, the chlorophyll a to b ratio and the light-saturation index were also consistently higher in the mutant cells. Differences in the starch content were also confirmed by single cell analyses using a sensitive SHG-based microscopy approach. In summary, the cw15-type mutant deviates from its genetic background in the entire cell physiology. Both lines should be used in further studies in comparative systems biology with focus on the detailed relation between cell volume increase, photosynthesis, starch metabolism, and daughter cell productivity.