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Nature. 1991 Sep 12;353(6340):178-80.

Editing of a chloroplast mRNA by creation of an initiation codon.

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  • 1Institut für Biologie III, Universität Freiburg, Germany.


Primary mRNA transcripts in several systems are edited by single base substitutions, small deletions or insertions to yield functional messenger RNA species. Mitochondrial mRNAs in particular, including those from plants, seem to be the subject of extensive editing, unlike mRNAs encoded by chloroplast DNA, for which the prediction of amino-acid sequence from the corresponding gene sequence is generally unambiguous. Occasionally, however, an ACG codon appears at the 5' terminus of chloroplast genes, where the initiation codon ATG would be expected. Here we present evidence for a C----U editing that is responsible for the conversion of the ACG codon to an AUG initiation codon in the mRNA transcript from the rpl2 gene of the maize plastome, showing that mRNA editing can also occur in chloroplasts.

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