We have established schedules of expression during maize leaf development in light and darkness for the messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and polypeptides for ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBPCase) subunits, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCase), and the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP). Levels of mRNAs were measured by hybridization with cloned probes, and proteins were measured by immunodetection on protein gel blots. The initial synthesis in leaves of all four mRNAs follows a light-independent schedule; illumination influences only the level to which each mRNA accumulates. The synthesis of RuBPCase small and large subunits and of PEPCase polypeptides also follows a light-independent schedule which is modified quantitatively by light. However, the accumulation of LHCP polypeptides absolutely requires illumination. The accumulation of each protein closely follows the accumulation of its mRNA during growth in light. Higher ratios of PEPCase and RuBPCase protein to mRNA occur during dark growth.

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