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

Chromatin from the unicellular red alga Porphyridium has a nucleosome structure.

We have isolated a crude nuclear preparation from the unicellular red alga Porphyridium aerugineum and investigated the structure of Porphyridium chromatin. Electrophoresis of deproteinized DNA fragments produced by micrococcal nuclease digestion of Porphyridium nuclei gives a typical ladder pattern, indicative of a repeating structure. The DNA repeat-length, calculated from plots of multimer length against multimer number, varies somewhat between different digestions, ranging from 160 to 180 base-pairs (average 173). We interpret this as evidence of heterogeneity in repeat-length; the calculated repeat-length depends on the extent of digestion because chromatin sub-populations with longer repeat-lengths are on average digested earlier. Polyacrylamide/sodium dodecyl sulphate gel electrophoresis of basic proteins purified from Porphyridium nuclear preparations gives a pattern characteristic of core histones. Although our interpretation is complicated by some degradation, the result strongly suggests that Porphyridium chromatin contains each of the four core histones and that they are similar to those of higher eukaryotes. This, together with the micrococcal nuclease digestion results, demonstrates that Porphyridium chromatin is not fundamentally different from that of higher eukaryotes.[1]


  1. Chromatin from the unicellular red alga Porphyridium has a nucleosome structure. Barnes, K.L., Craigie, R.A., Cattini, P.A., Cavalier-Smith, T. J. Cell. Sci. (1982) [Pubmed]
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