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Plant Mol Biol. 2002 May;49(2):161-9.

Identification of a tRNA isopentenyltransferase gene from Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.


The tRNA of most organisms contain modified adenines called cytokinins. Situated next to the anticodon, they have been shown to influence translational fidelity and efficiency. The enzyme that synthesizes cytokinins on pre-tRNA, tRNA isopentenyltransferase (EC, has been studied in micro-organisms like Escherichia coli and SaccharomYces cerevisiae, and the corresponding genes have been cloned. We here report the first cloning and functional characterization of a homologous gene from a plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression in S. cerevisiae showed that the gene can complement the anti-suppressor phenotype of a mutant that lacks MOD5, the intrinsic tRNA isopentenyltransferase gene. This was accompanied by the reintroduction of isopentenyladenosine in the tRNA. The Arabidopsis gene is constitutively expressed in seedling tissues.

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