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Chloroplast RNA

  • P. R. Whitfeld

Abstract

The first convincing demonstration that chloroplasts contain RNA came from the observation by Lyttleton (1962) that one of the two species of ribosomes which can be distinguished in leaf cells is actually localized within the chloroplasts. Confirmation of the presence of RNA in these organelles resulted from the direct analysis of purified chloroplasts which showed that as much as 25% to 35% of the leaf cell RNA could be in the chloroplasts (Heber, 1963). The identification of chloroplast-specific ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) was followed by evidence for the existence of chloroplast-specific transfer RNAs (tRNA) and messenger RNAs (mRNA). Chloroplasts are thus analogous to mitochondria in that they contain ribosomal and transfer RNA species which can be clearly differentiated from the corresponding cytoplasmic RNA species. That the RNA plays an active role in the functioning of chloroplasts follows from the observation that transfer of dark-grown plants to the light brings about a significant change in the level of certain of the chloroplast RNA species, and from the fact that isolated chloroplasts can synthesize protein. In this chapter an attempt will be made to provide a general yet practical introduction to the subject of chloroplast RNA (both algal and higher plant) but an exhaustive review of the literature will not be undertaken. Recent articles which contain sections dealing with chloroplast RNA are: Kirk, 1970; Kirk and Tilney-Bassett, 1967; Loening, 1968; Smillie and Scott, 1969; Tewari, 1971; Woodcock and Bogorad, 1971.

Keywords

Sucrose Density Gradient Centrifugation tRNA Species Cytoplasmic Ribosome Chloroplast Ribosome Radish Cotyledon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1973

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  • P. R. Whitfeld

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