The genomics of land plant chloroplasts: Gene content and alteration of genomic information by RNA editing
- Cite this article as:
- Wakasugi, T., Tsudzuki, T. & Sugiura, M. Photosynthesis Research (2001) 70: 107. doi:10.1023/A:1013892009589
The entire nucleotide sequence of the chloroplast genome has been determined from 12 land plants. The gene content and arrangement are relatively uniform from species to species, and the genome contains an average of 111 identified gene species (except Epifagus). Chloroplast genes can be classified into three main categories: Genes for the photosynthetic apparatus, those for the transcription/translation system, and those related to biosyntheses. The genes encoding components of the photosynthesis apparatus have been identified by protein chemical analyses from higher plants, Chlamydomonas and cyanobacteria, and then by chloroplast transformation techniques using tobacco and Chlamydomonas. The genes for subunits of RNA polymerases and of ribosomes were initially deduced similarity to those in E. coli, and later confirmed by protein analyses. Coding information is often modified at the level of transcripts by RNA editing (mostly C-U changes), resulting in amino acid substitutions and creation of novel reading frames. Perspectives of chloroplast genomics are discussed.