A mixture of cytoplasmic (80S) and chloroplast (70S) ribosomes from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was freed of contaminating membranes by sedimentation of the postmitochondrial supernatant through a layer of 1.87 M sucrose. The purified ribosomes were separated into 80S and 70S fractions by centrifugation at a relatively low speed on a 10–40% sucrose gradient containing 25 mM KCl and 5 mM MgCl2. Both the 80S and 70S ribosomes were dissociated into compact subunits by centrifugations in 5–20% high-salt sucrose gradients. The dissociations of both ribosomal species under these conditions were not affected by the addition of puromycin, indicating that the ribosomes as isolated were devoid of nascent chains. Subunits derived from the 80S ribosomes had apparent sedimentation coefficients of 57S and 37S whereas those from the 70S ribosomes had apparent sedimentation coefficients of 50S and 33S. In the presence of polyuridylic acid and cofactors, the 80S and 70S ribosomes incorporated [14C]phenylalanine into material insoluble in hot TCA. The requirements for incorporation were found to be similar to those described for eukaryotic and prokaryotic ribosomes. Experiments with antibiotics showed that the activity of the 80S ribosomes was sensitive to cycloheximide, whereas that of the 70S ribosomes was inhibited by streptomycin. The isolated subunits, when mixed together in an incorporation medium, were also active in the polymerization of phenylalanine in vitro.

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