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Plant Mol Biol. 2003 Apr;51(6):991-9.

Double-stranded RNA replicons associated with chloroplasts of a green alga, Bryopsis cinicola.

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Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Saiwaicho 3-5-8, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8504, Japan.


Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) associated with chloroplasts and mitochondria have been found in the coenocytic green alga Bryopsis cinicola. In this study we report molecular properties of the four chloroplast-associated dsRNAs (BDRC1 to BDRC4). The longest dsRNA molecule (BDRC1) was sequenced entirely (1959 bp) and a single large ORF of 1722 bp was found within it. Database searches revealed similarities between the deduced amino acid sequence of this ORF and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequences from several RNA viruses. The most similar sequence in the database was the RdRp of beet cryptic virus 3. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the RdRp-like sequence of BDRC1 can be placed in the Partitiviridae clade. To detect autonomous replication of these dsRNAs, RdRp assays were carried out with actinomycin D, which is an inhibitor of DNA-dependent RNA synthesis. Incorporation of [alpha-32P]UTP was detected specifically in the chloroplast and mitochondrial dsRNAs, indicating that both the chloroplast dsRNAs (BDRCs) and the mitochondrial dsRNA (BDRM) of B. cinicola are RNA replicons. The green alga B. cinicola harbors different dsRNA replicons in its chloroplasts and mitochondria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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