Lidholm J, Gustafsson P
A 3-Step Model for the Rearrangement of the Chloroplast Trnk-Psba Region of the Gymnosperm Pinus-Contorta
Nucleic Acids Research: 1991 19:2881-2887
Strong hybridization signals were obtained from total DNA of two conifers, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Norway spruce (Picea abies), in a Southern blot analysis using a probe derived from the chloroplast gidA gene of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The pine fragments detected by the probe were found to originate from the chloroplast genome and, as judged by the signal intensity, this was also true for the spruce fragments. Sequence analysis of the hybridizing pine chloroplast DNA region revealed an open reading frame potentially encoding a 459 amino acid polypeptide, highly homologous to that deduced from the algal gene and to ORF465 of liverwort chloroplast DNA. Upstream of the gidA sequence, we found a trnN(GUU) gene and an open reading frame of 291 codons which was 78% identical to the frxC gene of liverwort. Since ORF465 is located immediately downstream of trnN and frxC in liverwort, the genetic organization of this region is very similar in the two plants. In contrast, neither the gidA nor the frxC gene is present in the chloroplast DNA of tobacco or rice. It was recently reported that deletions in the gidA region of the chloroplast genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii abolish the light-independent pathway of chlorophyll synthesis which exists in many algae and lower plants. The presence of the gidA gene on the chloroplast genomes of conifers may therefore be of significance with respect to the ability of these plants to synthesize chlorophyll in the dark.
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