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Mol Gen Genet. 1988 Oct;214(2):192-7.

Mapping of chloroplast mutations conferring resistance to antibiotics in Chlamydomonas: evidence for a novel site of streptomycin resistance in the small subunit rRNA.

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Département de Biochimie, Faculté des Sciences et Génie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


A major obstacle to our understanding of the mechanisms governing the inheritance, recombination and segregation of chloroplast genes in Chlamydomonas is that the majority of antibiotic resistance mutations that have been used to gain insights into such mechanisms have not been physically localized on the chloroplast genome. We report here the physical mapping of two chloroplast antibiotic resistance mutations: one conferring cross-resistance to erythromycin and spiramycin in Chlamydomonas moewusii (er-nM1) and the other conferring resistance to streptomycin in the interfertile species C. eugametos (sr-2). The er-nM1 mutation results from a C to G transversion at a well-known site of macrolide resistance within the peptidyl transferase loop region of the large subunit rRNA gene. This locus, designated rib-2 in yeast mitochondrial DNA, corresponds to residue C-2611 in the 23 S rRNA of Escherichia coli. The sr-2 locus maps within the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene at a site that has not been described previously. The mutation results from an A to C transversion at a position equivalent to residue A-523 in the E. coli 16 S rRNA. Although this region of the E. coli SSU rRNA has no binding affinity for streptomycin, it binds to ribosomal protein S4, a protein that has long been associated with the response of bacterial cells to this antibiotic. We propose that the sr-2 mutation indirectly affects the nearest streptomycin binding site through an altered interaction between a ribosomal protein and the SSU rRNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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