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Gene Review

petD  -  cytochrome b6/f complex subunit 4

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

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High impact information on petD

  • The middle part of the Tbc2 protein displays partial amino acid sequence identity with Crp1, a protein from Zea mays that is implicated in the processing and translation of the chloroplast petA and petD RNAs [1].
  • This includes the mitochondrial coxI intron i1 from the fungus Podospora anserina, the plastid petD intron from the alga Scenedesmus obliquus and the mitochondrial RTL gene from the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii [2].
  • The chloroplast petD gene encodes subunit IV of the cytochrome b6/f complex and is required for photosynthetic electron transport [3].
  • We have created Chlamydomonas strains in which the initiation codon of the petD gene has been changed to AUU or AUC [3].
  • Our results show that sequences essential for translation reside in the petD 5' UTR and also that sequences within the 5' UTR directly or indirectly affect mRNA stability [4].

Biological context of petD


Other interactions of petD

  • At variance with the pet genes in higher plant chloroplasts, the petB and petD genes are continuous, not adjacent and not located next to the psbB gene [6].
  • These inversions created a functional chimeric petD gene that includes the promoter and part of the 5' UTR of the newly identified ycf9-psbM transciption unit, fused to the petD 5' UTR upstream of the FUD6 deletion [9].
  • Three classes of RNA, represented by atpB and petD mRNAs, Arg and Glu tRNAs, and 5S rRNA, were found to exist in polyadenylated form in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts [10].
  • In mcd1 mutants, which are non-photosynthetic, petD mRNA is degraded by a 5'-3' exonuclease activity, resulting in a failure to synthesize its product, subunit IV of the cytochrome b (6)/f complex [11].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of petD

  • We created a Qo pocket mutant by site-directed mutagenesis of the chloroplast petD gene in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii [12].
  • Here, we have used microarray analysis to assess changes in chloroplast, mitochondrial, and nuclear RNAs, and since few other RNAs were significantly altered in these mutants, conclude that Mcd1 is indeed specifically required for petD mRNA accumulation [8].


  1. Characterization of Tbc2, a nucleus-encoded factor specifically required for translation of the chloroplast psbC mRNA in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Auchincloss, A.H., Zerges, W., Perron, K., Girard-Bascou, J., Rochaix, J.D. J. Cell Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Reverse transcriptase activity of an intron encoded polypeptide. Fassbender, S., Brühl, K.H., Ciriacy, M., Kück, U. EMBO J. (1994) [Pubmed]
  3. Initiation codon mutations in the Chlamydomonas chloroplast petD gene result in temperature-sensitive photosynthetic growth. Chen, X., Kindle, K., Stern, D. EMBO J. (1993) [Pubmed]
  4. In vivo analysis of Chlamydomonas chloroplast petD gene expression using stable transformation of beta-glucuronidase translational fusions. Sakamoto, W., Kindle, K.L., Stern, D.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
  5. Sequences of trnR-ACG and petD that contain a tRNA-like element within the chloroplast genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Yu, W., Spreitzer, R.J. Nucleic Acids Res. (1991) [Pubmed]
  6. Nucleotide sequences of the continuous and separated petA, petB and petD chloroplast genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Büschlen, S., Choquet, Y., Kuras, R., Wollman, F.A. FEBS Lett. (1991) [Pubmed]
  7. In vivo evidence for 5'-->3' exoribonuclease degradation of an unstable chloroplast mRNA. Drager, R.G., Girard-Bascou, J., Choquet, Y., Kindle, K.L., Stern, D.B. Plant J. (1998) [Pubmed]
  8. Microarray analysis confirms the specificity of a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplast RNA stability mutant. Erickson, B., Stern, D.B., Higgs, D.C. Plant Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  9. Inversions in the Chlamydomonas chloroplast genome suppress a petD 5' untranslated region deletion by creating functional chimeric mRNAs. Higgs, D.C., Kuras, R., Kindle, K.L., Wollman, F.A., Stern, D.B. Plant J. (1998) [Pubmed]
  10. Polyadenylation of three classes of chloroplast RNA in Chlamydomonas reinhadtii. Komine, Y., Kwong, L., Anguera, M.C., Schuster, G., Stern, D.B. RNA (2000) [Pubmed]
  11. A spontaneous tRNA suppressor of a mutation in the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii nuclear MCD1 gene required for stability of the chloroplast petD mRNA. Murakami, S., Kuehnle, K., Stern, D.B. Nucleic Acids Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
  12. The Qo site of cytochrome b6f complexes controls the activation of the LHCII kinase. Zito, F., Finazzi, G., Delosme, R., Nitschke, W., Picot, D., Wollman, F.A. EMBO J. (1999) [Pubmed]
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