, Volume 209, Issue 2, pp 343-351

Chloroplast genome characterization in the red alga Griffithsia pacifica

Summary

It has been suggested that cyanobacteria served as the ancestors for rhodophytic algae whose chloroplasts contain chlorophyll a and phycobilins, and that a rhodophyte served as the plastid source for chromophytic plants that contain chlorophylls a and c. Although organellar DNA has been used to assess phylogenetic relatedness among terrestrial plants and green algae whose chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and b, few data are presently available on the molecular profile of plastid DNA in chromophytes or rhodophytes.

In this study the chloroplast genome of the rhodophytic, filamentous alga Griffithsia pacifica has been characterized. DNA was purified from isolated chloroplasts using protease k treatment and sodium dodecyl sulfate lysis followed by density centrifugation in Hoescht-33258 dye-CsCl gradients. Single and double restriction enzyme digests demonstrate that the DNA prepared from purified chloroplasts has a genome size of about 178 kilobase pairs (kb). A restriction map of this chloroplast genome demonstrates that it is circular and, unlike the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) in most other plants, contains only a single ribosomal DNA operon. DNA was also purified from the mitochondria that co-isolated with chloroplasts. Mitochondrial DNA consists of molecules that range in size from 27 to 350 kb based on restriction endonuclease digestion and electron microscopic analysis.

Communicated by R.B. Goldberg