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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 1975; 72(6): 2310–2314.
PMCID: PMC432747

On the prokaryotic nature of red algal chloroplasts.


The sequences of oligonucleotides released by T1 ribonuclease digestion of 32-P-labeled 16S (chloroplast) and 18S (cytoplasmic) ribosomal RNAs from a marine species of Porphyridium (Rhodophyta) have been determined. The resultant catalogs have been compared to those obtained for three prokaryotes:Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Anacystis nidulans (a blud-green alga). There is extensive sequence homology between the Porphyridium chloroplast 16S ribosomal RNA and each of the prokaryotic 16S ribosomal RNAs, but little homology between the Porphyridium cytoplasmic 18S ribosomal RNA and any of the 16S species. These data provide a measure of the evolutionary distance separating existing chloroplasts from contemporary bacteria and blue-green algae, and are discussed in terms of the hypothesis that these organelles evolved from endosymbiotic photosynthetic prokaryotes.

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Selected References

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