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Science. 1977 Aug 5;197(4303):582-5.

One strand equivalent of the Escherichia coli genome is transcribed: complexity and abundance classes of mRNA.


DNA-RNA hybridization experiments show that essentially all of the genomic information is transcribed. High, intermediate, and rare abundance classes of messenger RNA (mRNA) are present, and their estimated complexities are equal to about 240, 1300, and 700 average-sized mRNA species, respectively. The high abundance mRNA species are present, an average, two to three copies per cell and constitute about 95 percent of the mRNA mass. Intermediate abundance mRNA species are present, on average, about once per 35 cells. The relative abundance and complexity of these mRNA classes correspond well with previous respective measurements on protein. Rare RNA species are thought to represent maximally repressed genes. Analysis of RNA synthesized in vitro by isolated nucleoids (chromosomes) suggests that sense and nonsense sequences are extensively interspersed on a given strand of the DNA.

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