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Mol Gen Genet. 1995 Dec 15;249(5):533-44.

Detection of point mutations in chloroplast genes of Antirrhinum majus L. I. Identification of a point mutation in the psaB gene of a photosystem I plastome mutant.

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Institute of Genetics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, Germany.


A point mutation in the plastome-encoded psaB gene of the mutant en:alba-1 of Antirrhinum majus L. was identified by an analysis of chloroplast DNA with a modified PCR-SSCP technique. Application of this technique is indicated when a gene or a group of genes is known in which the point mutation is located. Analysis of primary photosynthetic reactions in the yellowish white plastome mutant indicated a dysfunction of photosystem (PS) I. The peak wavelength of PS I-dependent chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence emission at 77 K was shifted by 4 nm to 730 nm, as compared to fluorescence from wild-type. There were no redox transients of the reaction center Chl P700 upon illumination of leaves with continuous far-red light or with rate-saturating flashes of white light. The PS I reaction center proteins PsaA and PsaB are not detectable by SDS-PAGE in mutant plastids. Hence, plastome encoded PS I genes were regarded as putative sites of mutation. In order to identify plastome mutations we developed a modified SSCP (single-strand conformation polymorphism) procedure using a large PCR fragment which can be cleaved with various restriction enzymes. When DNA from wild-type and en:alba-1 was submitted to SSCP analysis, a single stranded HinfI fragment of a PCR product of the psaB gene showed differences in electrophoretic mobility. Sequence analysis revealed that the observed SSCP was caused by a single base substitution at codon 136 (TAT-->TAG) of the psaB gene. The point mutation produces a new stop codon that leads to a truncated PsaB protein. The results presented indicate that the mutation prevents the assembly of a functional PS I complex. The applicability to other plastome mutants of the new method for detection of point mutations is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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