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EMBO J. 1989 Apr;8(4):1013-21.

Nuclear and chloroplast mutations affect the synthesis or stability of the chloroplast psbC gene product in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


The psbC gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii encodes P6, the 43 kd photosystem II core polypeptide. The sequence of P6 is highly homologous to the corresponding protein in higher plants with the exception of the N-terminal region where the first 12 amino acids are missing. Translation of P6 is initiated at GUG in C. reinhardtii. The chloroplast mutant MA16 produces a highly unstable P6 protein. The mutation in this strain maps near the middle of the psbC gene and consists of a 6 bp duplication that creates a Ser-Leu repeat at the end of one transmembrane domain. Two nuclear mutants, F34 and F64, and one chloroplast mutant, FuD34, are unable to synthesize P6. All of these mutants accumulate wild-type levels of psbC mRNA. The FuD34 mutation has been localized near the middle of the 550 bp 5' untranslated region of psbC where the RNA can be folded into a stem-loop structure. A chloroplast suppressor of F34 has been isolated that partially restores synthesis of the 43 kd protein. The mutation of this suppressor is near that of FuD34, in the same stem-loop region. These chloroplast mutations appear to define the target site of a nuclear factor that is involved in P6 translation.

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