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Plant Mol Biol. 1990 May;14(5):727-33.

The minimum functional length of pre-mRNA introns in monocots and dicots.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland.


When exogenous genes are to be expressed in transgenic plants, their RNAs must be correctly processed. To gain information useful for predicting whether foreign introns will be accurately spliced, we have analysed the processing of an artificial gene in maize and Nicotiana plumbaginifolia protoplasts. A synthetic plant intron, devised to contain the elements necessary for pre-mRNA splicing in dicots, was found to be efficiently spliced in a monocot (maize) transient expression system. A series of deletion mutants of the synthetic intron was constructed to assess the minimum functional intron length. In both monocots and dicots this was found to be between 70 and 73 nt. This length requirement is similar to that seen in vertebrates, but significantly greater than that in fungi and insects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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