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Cell. 1991 Apr 5;65(1):135-43.

A small chloroplast RNA may be required for trans-splicing in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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Department of Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


In C. reinhardtii, the mature psaA mRNA is assembled by a process involving trans-splicing of three separate transcripts encoded at three widely scattered loci of the chloroplast genome. At least one additional chloroplast locus (tscA) is required for trans-splicing of exons 1 and 2. We have mapped this gene by transformation of a deletion mutant with a particle gun. The 0.7 kb region of the chloroplast genome that is sufficient to rescue tscA function has been subjected to insertion mutagenesis, showing that it does not contain significant open reading frames. We suggest from these experiments that the product of the tscA gene may be a small chloroplast RNA that acts in trans in the first trans-splicing reaction of psaA. A model for the mode of action of this RNA is presented, in which the characteristic structure of group II introns is assembled from three separate transcripts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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