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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1985 May 24;825(1):30-8.

Functional intron+ and intron- rDNA in the same macronucleus of the ciliate Tetrahymena pigmentosa.


Diallelic clones of Tetrahymena pigmentosa containing equal amounts of intron+ and intron- rDNA in the macronucleus were constructed. The macronucleus of the resulting strains divides amitotically during vegetative growth and the diallelic genotype is therefore unstable. The coexistence of the two alleles was followed in the total culture and in single cells during their vegetative segregation and it was observed that replication was non-preferential with respect to the two alleles. The diallelic clones were also used to demonstrate that intron-containing rDNA was transcribed and the transcript processed in the presence of corresponding intron- rDNA. The results are discussed in the light of the 'non-function' idea for ribosomal RNA introns.

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