rRNA secondary structure
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The marine green coccoidal alga Nanochlorum eukaryotum (N.e.) is of small size with an average diameter of 1.5 μm. It is characterized by primitive-appearing biochemical and morphological properties, which are considerably different from those of other green algae. Thus, it has been proposed that N.e. may be an early developed algal form. To prove this hypothesis, DNA of N.e. was isolated by a phenol extraction procedure, and the chloroplast DNA separated by preparative CsCl density-gradient centrifugation. The kinetic complexity of the nuclear and of the chloroplast DNA was evaluated by reassociation kinetics to 3 × 107 by and 9 × 104 bp, respectively. Several chloroplast genes, including the rRNA genes, were cloned on distinct fragments. The order of the rRNA genes corresponds to the common prokaryotic pattern. The 16S rRNA gene comprises 1,548 bases and is separated from the 23S rRNA gene with its 2,920 bases by a short spacer of 460 bases, which also includes the tRNAIle and tRNAAla genes. The 5S rRNA gene has not been found; it must start further than 500 bases downstream from the 3′-end of the 23S rRNA gene. From the chloroplast rRNA sequences, we have deduced secondary structures of the 16S and 23S rRNAs, which are in agreement with standard models. The rRNA sequences were aligned with corresponding chloroplast sequences; phylogenetic relationships were calculated by several methods. From these calculations, we conclude that N.e. is most closely related to Chlorella vulgaris. Therefore, N.e. does not represent an early developed algal species; the primitive-appearing morphological and biochemical characteristics of N.e. must rather be explained by secondary losses.
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