, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 301-314

Chloroplast RNA processing and stability

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Primary chloroplast transcripts are processed in a number of ways, including intron splicing, internal cleavage of polycistronic RNAs, and endonucleolytic or exonucleolytic cleavages at the transcript termini. All chloroplast RNAs are also subject to degradation, although a curious feature of many chloroplast mRNAs is their relative longevity. Some of these processes, e.g., psbA splicing and stability of a number of chloroplast mRNAs, are regulated in response to light–dark cycles or nutrient availability. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of these processes in the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, focusing on results since the extensive reviews published in 1998 [Herrin DL et al. 1998 (pp. 183–195), Nickelsen Y 1998 (pp. 151–163), Stern DB and Drager RG 1998 (pp. 164–182), in Rochaix JD et al. (eds) The Molecular Biology of Chloroplasts and Mitochondria in Chlamydomonas. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands]. We also allude to studies with other organisms, and to the potential impact of the Chlamydomonas genome project where appropriate.