Nucleotide sequence of a preferred maize chloroplast genome template for in vitro DNA synthesis
Maize chloroplast DNA sequences representing 94% of the chromosome have been surveyed for their activity as autonomously replicating sequences in yeast and as templates for DNA synthesis in vitro by a partially purified chloroplast DNA polymerase. A maize chloroplast DNA region extending over about 9 kilobase pairs is especially active as a template for the DNA synthesis reaction. Fragments from within this region are much more active than DNA from elsewhere in the chromosome and 50- to 100-fold more active than DNA of the cloning vector pBR322. The smallest of the strongly active subfragments that we have studied, the 1368-base-pair EcoRI fragment x, has been sequenced and found to contain the coding region of chloroplast ribosomal protein L16. EcoRI fragment x shows sequence homology with a portion of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplast chromosome that forms a displacement loop [Wang, X.-M., Chang, C.H., Waddell, J. & Wu, M. (1984) Nucleic Acids Res. 12, 3857-3872]. Maize chloroplast DNA fragments that permit autonomous replication of DNA in yeast are not active as templates for DNA synthesis in the in vitro assay. The template active region we have identified may represent one of the origins of replication of maize chloroplast DNA.