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A complex synthesizing the maize mitochondrial plasmid RNA b /

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Corn -- Cytogenetics.
  • Plant Mitochondria.
  • Rna -- Synthesis.
  • Plasmids.
  • Biology


RNA b is the most abundant member of a family of autonomously replicating single- and double-stranded RNA plasmids found in mitochondria of several maize races. The extent to which this molecule associates in vivo with proteins was investigated by both rate zonal and CsCl equilibrium density gradient centrifugations of clarified lysate of mitochondria from maize plants with the S-type cytoplasm. A soluble endogenous complex of RNA b, responsible for synthesis of the more abundant (+) RNA b strand in in vitro conditions (in mitochondrial lysate), was identified. The complex had a density of 1.49 g/cm$ sp3$ but a surprisingly low sedimentation coefficient, only slightly larger than the naked RNA b. Only a minor fraction of RNA b molecules were bound in the complex; the majority of RNA b sedimented as naked RNA molecules. Complexes synthesizing other, less abundant, maize RNA plasmids were not identified. However, in vitro synthesis of all RNA plasmid species in mitochondrial lysate was resistant to heparin, suggesting that in all cases preformed RdRp-RNA template complexes, capable of elongating in vivo preinitiated RNA plasmid strands, were present.

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