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Current Genetics

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 12–23 | Cite as

The cyanobacterial origin and vertical transmission of the plastid tRNALeu group-I intron

  • Anja Besendahl
  • Yin-Long Qiu
  • Jungho Lee
  • Jeffrey D. Palmer
  • Debashish Bhattacharya
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

We have surveyed the distribution and reconstructed the phylogeny of the group-I intron that is positioned in the anticodon loop of the tRNALeu gene in cyanobacteria and several plastid genomes. Southern-blot and PCR analyses showed that the tRNALeu intron is found in all 330 land plants that were examined. The intron was also found, and sequenced, in all but one of nine charophycean algae examined. Conversely, PCR analyses showed that the tRNALeu group-I intron is absent from the red, cryptophyte and haptophyte algae, although it is present in three members of the heterokont lineage. Phylogenetic analyses of the intron indicate that it was present in the cyanobacterial ancestor of the three primary plastid lineages, the Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta, and Glaucocystophyta. Its present-day distribution in plastids is consistent with a history of strictly vertical transmission, with no losses in land plants, several losses among green algae, and nearly pervasive loss in the Rhodophyta and its secondary derivatives.

Key words Group-I intron Phylogeny Plastids tRNALeu 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anja Besendahl
    • 1
  • Yin-Long Qiu
    • 2
  • Jungho Lee
    • 2
  • Jeffrey D. Palmer
    • 3
  • Debashish Bhattacharya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, 239 Biology Building, Iowa City, IA 52242–1324, USA Tel.: +1-319-335 1977; Fax: +1-319-335 1069 e-mail: dbhattac@blue.weeg.uiowa.eduUS
  2. 2.Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, SwitzerlandCH
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USAUS

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