Current Genetics

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 256–262

Genes for components of the chloroplast translational apparatus are conserved in the reduced 73-kb plastid DNA of the nonphotosynthetic euglenoid flagellate Astasia longa


  • Gabriele Gockel
    • Botanisches InstitutUniversität Bonn
  • Wolfgang Hachtel
    • Botanisches InstitutUniversität Bonn
  • Susanne Baier
    • Botanisches InstitutUniversität Bonn
  • Christian Fliss
    • Botanisches InstitutUniversität Bonn
  • Mark Henke
    • Botanisches InstitutUniversität Bonn
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF00309557

Cite this article as:
Gockel, G., Hachtel, W., Baier, S. et al. Curr Genet (1994) 26: 256. doi:10.1007/BF00309557


The colourless, nonphotosynthetic protist Astasia longa is phylogenetically related to Euglena gracilis. The 73-kb plastid DNA (ptDNA) of A. longa is about half the size of most chloroplast DNAs (cpDNAs). More than 38 kb of the Astasia ptDNA sequence has been determined. No genes for photosynthetic function have been found except for rbcL. Identified genes include rpoB, tufA, and genes coding for three rRNAs, 17 tRNAs, and 13 ribosomal proteins. Not only is the nucleotide sequence of these genes highly conserved between A. longa and E. gracilis, but a number of these genes are clustered in a similar fashion and have introns in the same positions in both species. The results further support the idea that photosynthetic genes normally encoded in cpDNA have been preferentially lost in Astasia, but that the chloroplast genes coding for components of the plastid translational apparatus have been maintained. This apparatus might be needed for the expression of rbcL and also for that of still unidentified nonphotosynthetic genes of Astasia ptDNA.

Key words

Astasia longaPlastid DNARibosomal protein genestRNA genes

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994