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Plant Mol Biol. 1999 Nov;41(5):679-85.

Bryophyte 5S rDNA was inserted into 45S rDNA repeat units after the divergence from higher land plants.

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Division of Integrated Life Science, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Japan.


The 5S ribosomal RNA genes (5S rDNA) are located independently from the 45S rDNA repeats containing 18S, 5.8S and 26S ribosomal RNA genes in higher eukaryotes. Southern blot and fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that the 5S rDNAs are encoded in the 45S rDNA repeat unit of a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, in contrast to higher plants. Sequencing analyses revealed that a single-repeat unit of the M. polymorpha nuclear rDNA, which is 16,103 bp in length, contained a 5S rDNA downstream of 18S, 5.8S and 26S rDNA. To our knowledge, this is the first report on co-localization of the 5S and 45S rDNAs in the rDNA repeat of land plants. Furthermore, we detected a 5S rDNA in the rDNA repeat of a moss, Funaria hygrometrica, by a homology search in a database. These findings suggest that there has been structural re-organization of the rDNAs after divergence of the bryophytes from the other plant species in the course of evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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