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Curr Genet. 1992 Apr;21(4-5):417-22.

Loss of transfer RNA genes from the plastid 16S-23S ribosomal RNA gene spacer in a parasitic plant.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53201.


The plastid 16S-23S intergenic spacer region in Conopholis americana, a totally heterotrophic angiosperm in the family Orobanchaceae, has undergone large deletions, including the entire tRNA(Ile) gene and all but small remnants of the tRNA(Ala) gene. The length of the region is less than 20% of that of other land plants which have been investigated, making it the smallest 16S-23S intergenic spacer reported thus far for any land plant. The remaining sequences in the spacer are 90.1% identical to tobacco, indicating that, while the region is well conserved at the sequence level, it is evolving rapidly by deletion. Experiments using the polymerase chain reaction and hybridization to DNA gel blots have failed to reveal either of the two missing tRNA genes elsewhere in the Conopholis cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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