Author(s): Zurawski G, Clegg MT, Brown AH
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Abstract Analysis of a 2175-base pair (bp) SmaI-HindIII fragment of barley chloroplast DNA revealed that rbcL (the gene for the large subunit of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase) and atpB (the gene for the beta subunit of ATPase) are transcribed divergently and are separated by an untranscribed region of 155-166 bp. The rbcL mRNA has a 320-residue untranslated leader region, whereas the atpB mRNA has a 296- to 309-residue leader region. The sequence of these regions, together with the initial 113 bp of the atpB-coding region and the initial 1279 bp of the rbcL-coding region, is compared with the analogous maize chloroplast DNA sequences. Two classes of nucleotide differences are present, substitutions and insertions/deletions. Nucleotide substitutions show a 1.9-fold bias toward transitions in the rbcL-coding region and a 1.5-fold bias toward transitions in the noncoding region. The level of nucleotide substitutions between the barley and maize sequences is about 0.065/bp. Seventy-one percent of the substitutions in the rbcL-coding region are at the third codon position, and 95\% of these are synonymous changes. Insertion/deletion events, which are confined to the noncoding regions, are not randomly distributed in these regions and are often associated with short repeated sequences. The extent of change for the noncoding regions (about 0.093 events/bp) is less than the extent of change at the third codon positions in the rbcL-coding region (about 0.135 events/bp), including insertion/delection events. Limited sequence analysis of the analogous DNA from a wild line ( Hordeum spontaneum) and a primitive Iranian barley (H. vulgare) suggested a low rate of chloroplast DNA evolution. Compared to spinach chloroplast DNA, the barley rbcL-atpB untranslated region is extremely diverged, with only the putative rbcL promoters and ribosome-binding site being extensively conserved.
This article was published in Genetics
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography