Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 238, Issue 3, pp 339–349 | Cite as

Functional in vivo analyses of the 3′ flanking sequences of the Chlamydomonas chloroplast rbcL and psaB genes

  • Alan D. Blowers
  • Uwe Klein
  • George S. Ellmore
  • Lawrence Bogorad
Originals Articles


Possible roles of untranslated sequences at the 3′ ends of chloroplast genes, which include inverted repeat elements, were investigated in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in vivo. Chlamydomonas chloroplast rbcL or psaB 3′ flanking regions were coupled in various arrangements 3′ to a chimeric gene consisting of a Chlamydomonas chloroplast atpB promoter sequence fused 5′ to the Escherichia coli uidA (GUS) structural gene. These genes were introduced into the Chlamydomonas chloroplast genome at the same location by homologous recombination following microprojectile bombardment. Transformants harboring chimeric GUS genes fused to rbcL or psaB gene 3′ inverted repeat sequences in their normal forward orientations accumulated GUS transcripts of a single size, whereas GUS transcripts of heterogenous sizes accumulated in transformants harboring the same gene lacking an inverted repeat sequence at its 3′ end. Thus, the 3′ flanking regions of the rbcL and psaB genes can define the location of the 3′ terminus of a transcript in vivo. In chloroplast transformants harboring chimeric GUS genes fused to multiple inverted repeat sequences in their normal forward orientations, only GUS transcripts accumulated that were terminated by the first inverted repeat sequence. The latter data suggest that the 3′ ends of these RNAs are the products of either transcription termination or endonucleolytic cleavage. Analyses of GUS transcripts in transformants harboring GUS genes terminated by rbcL or psaB gene 3′ flanking regions in reversed orientations indicate that transcript 3′ end formation in vivo requires nucleotide sequences located outside the inverted repeat elements. Inasmuch as decay rates of GUS transcripts were found to be independent of the presence of a 3′ inverted repeat sequence, RNA stabilization does not appear to be a major in vivo function of these elements in the Chlamydomonas chloroplast transcripts studied.

Key words

GUS reporter gene RNA 3′ and formation RNA stability Inverted repeat RNA stem-loop structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan D. Blowers
    • 1
  • Uwe Klein
    • 1
  • George S. Ellmore
    • 1
  • Lawrence Bogorad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Developmental BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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