A nuclear-encoded form II RuBisCO in dinoflagellates

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Science  16 Jun 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5217, pp. 1622-1624
DOI: 10.1126/science.7777861

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The chloroplasts of most dinoflagellates are unusual in that they are surrounded by three membranes and contain the carotenoid peridinin. The ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase (RuBisCO) in dinoflagellate chloroplasts was found here to also be unusual. Unlike other eukaryotes, dinoflagellates containing peridinin use a form of RuBisCO (form II) previously found only in some species of proteobacteria. Furthermore, this RuBisCO is not encoded in the chloroplast DNA, as is the case in other organisms, but is encoded by the nuclear DNA. The unusual nature of this enzyme and location of its gene support the idea that dinoflagellate chloroplasts may have had a distinctive evolutionary origin.

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