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J Protozool. 1985 Nov;32(4):644-9.

RNA and protein synthesis during meiotic prophase in Tetrahymena thermophila.


Tetrahymena is one of the few organisms from which large amounts of precisely staged meiotic material can be obtained. We took advantage of this fact to monitor RNA and protein synthesis during meiosis. The rate of total protein synthesis as well as the synthesis of the majority of heavily labeled conjugation-specific polypeptides (monitored by high resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis) was maximal during meiotic prophase. We therefore cloned cDNAs corresponding to genes active during this time. The mRNA levels of three conjugation-specific genes (pC1, pC2, and pC7) and one conjugation-induced gene (pC3) were followed by using the corresponding labeled cDNAs to probe RNA isolated from different times during mating that was also followed cytologically. Synthesis of the conjugation-specific mRNAs was maximal just prior to maximum crescent stage (pachytene). Evidence is presented for transcription by the normally inactive micronucleus just prior to the maximum crescent stage, confirming an earlier report. The significance of these results is discussed.

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