Plastid DNA question
Subbaiah C. Chalivendra
subbaiah at uiuc.edu
Mon Sep 4 14:17:14 EST 2000
Dana A. Dudle wrote:
> I have never heard of any work on the genomes of other plastids.
>Is this because chloroplasts are more easily extracted, or more abundant
>in plant cells than in other plastids? Is the DNA lost from these other
>kinds of plastids? Are there fewer copies of the plastid chromosome in
>amyloplasts (for example) than in chloroplasts? Have I just missed
discussion of alternate plastid DNA in the literature?
Chloroplasts are one type of plastids specialized to do
photosynthesis, just like chromoplasts or amyloplasts which have
different functions. In many cases they are inter-convertible.
Therefore, other plastid types in a particular species should have
the same plastome (plastid genome) component (gene content as well as
copy number). However, expression patterns of plastid genes and
import of cytoplasmic proteins (nuclear encoded) differ from one type
to the other in order to serve different functions. For example,
during the transition of chloroplasts in the pericarp of developing
fruits (e.g., tomato, sweet pepper) to chromoplasts as the fruits
ripen, show different mRNA and protein profiles. Studies indicate
that mechanisms such as DNA methylation or RNA/protein turnover may
play a role in the differential gene expression, without any
alterations in the plastome.
However, plastids in parasitic plants (which do not carry out
photosynthesis) have been shown to have lost a part of the plastome
(perhaps genes that have no function).
Jeffrey D. Palmer at Indiana University, Bloomington, an authority on
plant organellar genomes, would have more details.
Subbaiah Chalivendra, Ph. D.
S-27 Turner Hall
Dept. Crop Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801-4730
Phone: 217 333-9743
Fax: 217 333-6064
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