A reverse transcriptase-like activity was isolated from germinating wheat (Triticum aestivum) embryos. The activity was found to be associated with a microsomal fraction (70,000 g pellet) of the embryo homogenate. The microsome-associated enzyme prefers homologous polyadenylated RNA to any other polynucleotides as template and requires all four deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates for maximal activity. The reaction product appears in the incubation mixture in the form of an RNA-DNA hybrid, which can be converted into single-stranded DNA by mild alkaline hydrolysis. These observations suggest that normal wheat embryo cells contain an enzyme which, functionally, is similar to retroviral reverse transcriptase.
- © 1987 London: The Biochemical Society