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Mol Gen Genet. 1993 Jun;239(3):450-62.

The six genes of the Rubisco small subunit multigene family from Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, a facultative CAM plant.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.

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  • Mol Gen Genet 1993 Sep;140(3):413.


The nucleotide sequences of the entire gene family, comprising six genes, that encodes the Rubisco small subunit (rbcS) multigene family in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (common ice plant), were determined. Five of the genes are arranged in a tandem array spanning 20 kb, while the sixth gene is not closely linked to this array. The mature small subunit coding regions are highly conserved and encode four distinct polypeptides of equal lengths with up to five amino acid differences distinguishing individual genes. The transit peptide coding regions are more divergent in both amino acid sequence and length, encoding five distinct peptide sequences that range from 55 to 61 amino acids in length. Each of the genes has two introns located at conserved sites within the mature peptide-coding regions. The first introns are diverse in sequence and length ranging from 122 bp to 1092 bp. Five of the six second introns are highly conserved in sequence and length. Two genes, rbcS-4 and rbcS-5, are identical at the nucleotide level starting from 121 bp upstream of the ATG initiation codon to 9 bp downstream of the stop codon including the sequences of both introns, indicating recent gene duplication and/or gene conversion. Functionally important regulatory elements identified in rbcS promoters of other species are absent from the upstream regions of all but one of the ice plant rbcS genes. Relative expression levels were determined for the rbcS genes and indicate that they are differentially expressed in leaves.

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