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Plant J. 1993 Feb;3(2):213-9.

Light-regulated and endogenous fluctuations of chloroplast transcript levels in Chlamydomonas. Regulation by transcription and RNA degradation.

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Biological Laboratory, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Changes in the relative sizes of pools of transcripts of organelle genes during plastid development are common in flowering plants, but technical difficulties have prevented direct determinations of the effects of changes in rates of transcription and degradation on such fluctuations. It has been possible to follow both rates in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In synchronous or asynchronous cultures of cells grown in 12 h light/12 h dark periods, sizes of pools of transcripts of the chloroplast genes atpA, atpB, tufA, and psaB fluctuate. Differences in chloroplast transcript abundances in light/dark cycles were found to be cell cycle-independent but controlled by either an endogenous rhythm (atpA, atpB, and tufA) or by light (psaB). In vivo labeling experiments showed that transcriptional regulation and light/dark-regulated degradation both contribute, in gene-specific manners, to the level of transcripts of individual C. reinhardtii chloroplast genes in cells grown in alternating light/dark cycles.

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