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Plant Mol Biol. 1995 Dec;29(5):1071-9.

Divergent evolution of two plastid genes, rbcL and atpB, in a non-photosynthetic parasitic plant.

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Laboratoire de Cytopathologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, Université de Nantes, France.


Plastid DNA (ptDNA) regions for the large subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubiso) (rbcL) and the beta-subunit of ATP synthase (atpB) genes of the holoparasite Lathraea clandestina L. were sequenced. These regions were obtained by cloning either a Bam HI endonuclease generated fragment from the Lathraea ptDNA or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified products. The Lathraea ptDNA contains the entire sequence for the rbcL gene which shares 94.5% homology with the Nicotiana tabacum gene, whereas atpB is maintained as a pseudogene. The intergenic region between divergently transcribed rbcL and atpB genes is shorter (758 bp) in L. clandestina plastid genome in comparison with N. tabacum (823 bp), however they have a noticeable similarity, mainly in the rbcL 5'-upstream region. A low level of the rbcL gene transcription was detected whereas no atpB transcripts were found in Latraea. The plasmid rbcL gene of the hemiparasite Melampyrum pratense and the autotroph Digitalis purpurea both from the Scrophulariaceae were cloned by PCR amplification and then sequenced. The L. clandestina rbcL gene is highly homologous to the M. pratense and D. purpurea genes. The data indicate that the evolution of the plastid atpB-rbcL region was different in parasites from the Scrophulariaceae and Orobanchaceae families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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