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A tripartite group II intron in mitochondria of an angiosperm plant

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In mitochondria of flowering plants the nad5 open reading frame is assembled from five exons via two conventional cis-splicing and two trans-splicing events. Trans-splicing between exons c and d in wheat, petunia and Arabidopsis involves a bipartite group II intron structure, while in Oenothera a large portion of intron domains I–IV is missing from the major genomic locus. This intron region has been lost downstream of exon c and is now found in a distant genomic region. Intragenomic recombination across an 11 nucleotide sequence has separated these intron parts, which now have to be reassembled from three independent RNA precursors. This organisation coexists with highly substoichiometric copy numbers of the bipartite intron arrangement, consistent with an evolutionary origin of the tripartite intron by genomic disruption.

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Received: 28 August 1996 / Accepted: 11 December 1996

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Knoop, V., Altwasser, M. & Brennicke, A. A tripartite group II intron in mitochondria of an angiosperm plant. Mol Gen Genet 255, 269–276 (1997).

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