16S rRNA

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The RNA molecule found in the small ribosomal subunits of prokaryotes. This RNA is often abbreviated SSU rRNA (small subunit rRNA). The secondary structure of the 16S rRNA of E. coli is shown below. This 30S subunit also contains 20 specific proteins. The folding pattern results from hydrogen bonding of C to G and A to U molecules. The nucleotides are numbered starting with 1 at the 5′ end and ending with 1,542 at the 3′ end. Comparison of the nucleotide sequence of 16S rRNAs from widely diverse species has allowed the construction of a “universal tree of life” (q.v.). See Chronology, 1977, Woese and Fox; 1980, Woese et al.; ribosome, Shine-Dalgarno (S-D) sequence.

16S rRNA. From Biochemistry, 3rd ed., by Lubert Stryer. © 1975, 1981, 1988 by Lubert Stryer. Used with permission of W. H. Freeman and Company.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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