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Plant Cell. 1991 Feb;3(2):203-12.

Biosynthesis of the chloroplast cytochrome b6f complex: studies in a photosynthetic mutant of Lemna.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The biosynthesis of the cytochrome b6f complex has been studied in a mutant, no. 1073, of Lemna perpusilla that contained less than 1% of the four protein subunits when compared with a wild-type strain. RNA gel blot analyses of the mutant indicated that the chloroplast genes for cytochrome f, cytochrome b6, and subunit IV (petA, petB, and petD, respectively) are transcribed and that the petB and petD transcripts undergo their normal processing. Analysis of polysomal polyA+ RNA indicated that the level of translationally active mRNA for the nuclear-encoded Rieske Fe-S protein (petC) was reduced by greater than 100-fold in the mutant. Immunoprecipitation of in vivo labeled proteins indicated that both cytochrome f and subunit IV are synthesized and that subunit IV has a 10-fold higher rate of protein turnover in the mutant. These results are discussed in terms of the assembly of the cytochrome complex and the key role of the Rieske Fe-S protein in this process.

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