Chloroplast Genes and Transformation in Chlamydomonas
The green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardii is particularly well suited for studying the function of the chloroplast genome since this organism can be manipulated with ease both at the biochemical and genetic level. Indeed, C. reinhardii is to date the only organism in which an analysis of chloroplast gene recombination is feasible. Most of the numerous chloroplast mutants which have been isolated are affected in some photosynthetic function or are resistant to antibiotics which inhibit translation on chloroplast ribosomes. Several of these mutations have been mapped and a chloroplast linkage group has been established (cf. Gillham, 1978). During the last years several chloroplast genes have been identified and localized on the chloroplast DNA restriction map of C. reinhardii (cf. Rochaix, 1981). They include the genes coding for chloroplast rRNAs, several tRNAs and the genes coding for abundant chloroplast polypeptides such as the large subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (LS), several thylakoid polypeptides and elongation factor Tu (Watson and Surzycki, 1981). While biochemical techniques are powerful for isolating and characterizing genes of this sort, other methods may be required for studying chloroplast genes which are poorly expressed. Coupling the genetic and biochemical studies appears to be a promising new approach in this respect.
KeywordsChloroplast Genome Chloroplast Gene BamHI Fragment Hybrid Plasmid Argininosuccinate Lyase
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