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EMBO J. 1985 Mar;4(3):599-604.

Identification of an rRNA operon promoter from Zea mays chloroplasts which excludes the proximal tRNAValGAC from the primary transcript.

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Insititut für Biologie III der Universität Freiburg, Schaenzlestrasse 1, D-7800 Freiburg, FRG.


The transcriptional start site of the tRNA operon from Zea mays chloroplasts has ben identified by a combination of S1 mapping and Southern hybridization with in vitro capped chloroplast RNA as radioactive probe. This is the first example in which the transcriptional start site of a chloroplast gene has ben established by identification of the triphosphate-bearing RNA terminus. The start site is located at position -117 proximal to the 16S rRNA gene and is preceded by -10 and -35 sequences homologous to prokaryotic promoters. The primary transcript directed by this promoter does not include tRNAValGAC sequences which are coded further upstream between positions -302 and -231. A major processing site of the primary rRNA transcript was identified at position -30 which is embedded in a secondary structure typical for prokaryotic RNase III processing sites. Several putative processing and start sites of the tRNAValGAC transcripts have been mapped by primer extension with reverse transcriptase.

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