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Plant Physiol. Nov 1992; 100(3): 1103–1113.
PMCID: PMC1075752

Constitutive Transcription and Stable RNA Accumulation in Plastids during the Conversion of Chloroplasts to Chromoplasts in Ripening Tomato Fruits 1

Abstract

The size distribution of plastid transcripts during chromoplast differentiation in ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) fruits was determined using northern blot analysis. Hybridization of total cellular RNA from leaves and fruits with several tobacco chloroplast DNA probes showed distinct transcript patterns in chloroplasts and chromoplasts. We also compared transcriptional rates by probing immobilized DNA fragments of small size (representing about 85% of the plastid genome) with run-on transcripts from tomato plastids. The relative rates of transcription of the various DNA regions were very similar in chloro- and chromoplasts. Parallel determination of the steady-state levels of plastid RNA showed no strict correlation between synthesis rate and RNA accumulation. Differences in the relative abundance of transcripts between chloro- and chromoplasts were not very pronounced and were limited to a small number of genes. The results indicate that the conversion of chloroplasts to chromoplasts at the onset of tomato fruit ripening proceeds with no important variations in the relative transcription rates and with only moderate changes in the relative stability of plastid-encoded transcripts.

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Selected References

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