The Synthesis of Chloroplast Proteins
It is a fundamental feature of the organisation of eukaryotic cells that they contain organelles possessing genetic systems additional to the one located in the nucleus. In the case of chloroplasts, the fact that these organelles contain both DNA and ribosomes was demonstrated first in 1962. It soon became apparent that both these components are present in significant quantities. Thus the chloroplast genome has the potential capacity for encoding about 125 proteins, each of molecular weight 50 000, whilst chloroplast ribosomes can represent up to 50% of the total ribosomal complement of leaves [1,2]. The existence of such quantities of chloroplast DNA and ribosomes prompts the question as to their roles in the formation of chloroplasts. Which genes are encoded in chloroplast DNA? Which proteins are synthesised by chloroplast ribosomes? I believe it is necessary to answer such simple direct questions before it is possible to tackle meaningfully the more interesting but far more complex question as to the molecular basis of chloroplast development.
KeywordsLarge Subunit Chloroplast Genome Chloroplast Protein Label Amino Acid Chloroplast Envelope
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