Submitted to: Plant Physiology Plant Gene Register Electronic Submission
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: We have reported the cloning of a maturase-like gene from leafy spurge. Maturases are involved in the excision of certain classes of introns from various genes. This particular maturase appears to be similar to other previously cloned maturases in that it is itself encoded within the intron of the lysine tRNA from the chloroplast genome. The predicted maturase protein from leafy spurge is 98 amino acids shorter than other previously described intron-encoded maturases. It is not known if the truncated protein is unique to leafy spurge or if other members of the Euphorbia also have truncated versions of this gene. Originally, this gene was cloned because it appeared to be up-regulated in the underground adventitious shoot buds of leafy spurge concomitantly with their release from dormancy. However, further analysis indicated that the apparent increase in transcript from this gene was the result of an increase in chloroplast number rather than an increase in the transcription or stability of the RNA from this gene.
Technical Abstract: We report here the cloning of a gene for a chloroplast-encoded, maturase-like protein. The original cDNA clone was identified by differential display as being up-regulated in underground adventitious shoot buds from leafy spurge following their release from dormancy by excision of the aerial portion of the plant. The cDNA was used to isolate a genomic copy of this gene. The genomic clone contains a 1293 bp open reading frame which had significant homology to a number of chloroplast-encoded, maturase-like protein genes from other plant species. The open reading frame is shorter by 294 bps than other reported chloroplast-encoded, maturase-like genes. Experiments indicate that the increase in the RNA encoding the maturase-like protein is the result of an increase in the number of chloroplasts rather than an increase in transcription or stability of the maturase RNA.