Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 13–21

Chloroplast encoded thioredoxin genes in the red algae Porphyra yezoensis and Griffithsia pacifica: evolutionary implications


  • Ann E. Reynolds
    • Botany DepartmentUniversity of Washington
  • Joby M. Chesnick
  • Joseph Woolford
  • Rose Ann Cattolico
    • Botany DepartmentUniversity of Washington
    • School of OceanographyUniversity of Washington
Research Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF00024194

Cite this article as:
Reynolds, A.E., Chesnick, J.M., Woolford, J. et al. Plant Mol Biol (1994) 25: 13. doi:10.1007/BF00024194


A gene encoding a thioredoxin protein was identified in the chloroplast genome of the rhodophyte Porphyra yezoensis. The P. yezoensis trxA gene contains 324 bp and is transcribed into a 0.7 kb messenger RNA. Analysis of the transcription start site demonstrates that canonical chloroplast −10 and −35 sequences are not present. The deduced amino acid sequence of the thioredoxin gene from the red algae has the greatest similarity to type m thioredoxins, providing strong support for the hypothesis that type m thioredoxins in photosynthetic eukaryotes originated from an engulfed bacterial endosymbiont. Hybridization analysis of nuclear and chloroplast DNAs from several members of the phyla Chromophyta and Rhodophyta using P. yezoensis DNA as a probe demonstrated strong hybridization to the chloroplast and nuclear genomes of Griffithsia pacifica and a weak cross-hybridization to the chromophyte P. foliaceum. The G. pacifica chloroplast gene has a 66% identity with the P. yezoensis DNA, contains conserved active site amino acid residues, but lacks a methionine start codon.

Key words

chloroplastevolutionred algaethioredoxin
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994