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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Organization of ribosomal protein genes rpl23, rpl2, rps19, rpl22 and rps3 on the Euglena gracilis chloroplast genome.

The nucleotide sequence (4,814 bp) was determined for a cluster of five ribosomal protein genes and their DNA flanking regions from the chloroplast genome of Euglena gracilis. The genes are organized as rpl23-150 bp spacer-rpl2-59 bp spacer-rps19-110 bp spacer-rpl22-630 bp spacer-rps3. The genes are all of the same polarity and reside 148 bp downstream from an operon for two genes of photosystem I and four genes of photosystem II. The Euglena ribosomal protein gene cluster resembles the S-10 ribosomal protein operon of Escherichia coli in gene organization and follows the exact linear order of the analogous genes in the tobacco and liverwort chloroplast genomes. The number and positions of introns in the Euglena ribosomal protein loci are different from their higher plant counterparts. The Euglena rpl23, rps19 and rps3 loci are unique in that they contain three, two and two introns, respectively, whereas rpl2 and rpl22 lack introns. The introns found in rpl23 (106, 99 and 103 bp), rps19 (103 and 97 bp) and rps3 intron 2 (102 bp) appear to represent either a new class of chloroplast intron found only in constitutively expressed genes, or possibly a degenerate version of Euglena chloroplast group II introns. They are deficient in bases C and G and extremely rich in base T, with a base composition of 53-76% T, 25-34% A, 3-10% G and 2-7% C in the mRNA-like strand. These six introns show minimal resemblance to group II chloroplast introns. They have a degenerate version of the group II intron conserved boundary sequences at their 5' and 3' ends. No conserved internal secondary structures are apparent. By contrast, rps3 intron 1 (409 bp) has a potential group II core secondary structure. The five genes, rpl23 (101 codons), rpl2 (278 codons), rps19 (95 codons), rpl22 (114 codons) and rps3 (220 codons) encode lysine-rich polypeptides with predicted molecular weights of 12,152, 31,029, 10,880, 12,819, and 25,238, respectively. The Euglena gene products are 18-50%, and 29-58% identical in primary structure to their E. coli and higher plant counterparts, respectively. Oligonucleotide sequences corresponding to Euglena chloroplast ribosome binding sites are not apparent in the intergenic regions. Inverted repeat sequences are found in the upstream flanking region of rpl23 and downstream from rps3.[1]


  1. Organization of ribosomal protein genes rpl23, rpl2, rps19, rpl22 and rps3 on the Euglena gracilis chloroplast genome. Christopher, D.A., Cushman, J.C., Price, C.A., Hallick, R.B. Curr. Genet. (1988) [Pubmed]
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