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Plant J. 2002 Oct;32(2):175-84   

Functional analysis of plastid DNA replication origins in tobacco by targeted inactivation.

Mühlbauer SK, Lössl A, Tzekova L, Zou Z, Koop HU.

University of Munich, Department of Biology I - Botany, Menzinger Str. 67, D-80638, Munchen, Germany.

Sequences described as chloroplast DNA replication origins were analysed in vivo by creating deletion and insertion mutants via plastid transformation in tobacco. Deletion of the described oriA sequence, which is located within the intron of the trnI gene, resulted in heteroplastomic transformants, when the selection marker was inserted within the intron. Removal of the complete intron sequence together with the oriA sequence, however, yielded homoplastomic transformants of normal phenotype, in which wild-type signals were no longer detectable through Southern analysis, thus bringing the role of the described oriA sequence for plastome replication into question. Similarly, deletion of sequence elements upstream of trnI, which have a possible ori function in Oenothera, did not show any effect in tobacco. The two copies of oriB, which are located at the very end of the plastome Inverted Repeats, were targeted with two different transformation vectors in a cotransformation approach. While in initial transformants integration of the selection marker could be detected at both sites, the transgene was found exclusively at one site or the other after additional rounds of regeneration. Whereas the copy of oriB in Inverted Repeat B could be completely deleted, targeting of the copy in Inverted Repeat A resulted in heteroplastomic lines, as the essential ycf1 gene was also affected. Due to the strong selection against cotransformants we conclude that at least one copy of the oriB sequence is essential for plastome replication, whereas replication appears possible without oriA elements.

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Andreas Lössl, 2011