Extranuclear Inheritance: Linear Protein-Primed Replicating Genomes in Plants and Microorganisms

  • Friedhelm Meinhardt
  • Matthias Rohe
Part of the Progress in Botany/Fortschritte der Botanik book series (BOTANY, volume 54)


Plasmids were primarily defined as extrachromosomal genetic elements replicating autonomously (Lederberg 1952). They were first described in the 1950s, subsequently, however, plasmids were detected in numerous prokaryotes. They all are covalently closed circular molecules, which carried genes being cryptic or at best advantageous to their hosts under special conditions (Günther 1984). These common structural properties, as well as their occurrence in prokaryotic microorganisms, were considered as characteristic features and strongly influenced the definition of the term “plasmid” (Bresch and Hausmann 1972; Kaudewitz 1983; Lewin 1988). When plasmids were detected in yeast (Sinclair et al. 1967), this was thought to be an exception from a general rule. However, in the meantime, a large number of plasmids could be detected and characterized in plants, yeasts, and in filamentous fungi. A compilation of these plasmids detected to the year 1986 is given in a booklet by Esser et al. (1986) Plasmids of Eukaryotes.


Linear Plasmid Terminal Protein Mitochondrial Plasmid Walbot Versus Morchella Esculenta 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedhelm Meinhardt
    • 1
  • Matthias Rohe
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für MikrobiologieWestfälische Wilhems-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany

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