Polyadenylated RNA from Chlamydomonas was translated in a cell-free rabbit reticulocyte system that employed [35S]methionine. Antibodies made to four chloroplast ribosomal proteins synthesized in the cytoplasm and imported into the organelle were used for indirect immunoprecipitation of the labeled translation products, which were subsequently visualized on fluorographs of SDS gels. The cytoplasmically synthesized chloroplast ribosomal proteins were first seen as precursors with apparent molecular weights of 1,000 to 6,000 greater than their respective mature forms. Processing of the ribosomal protein precursors to mature proteins was affected by adding a postribosomal supernatant that had been extracted from cells of Chlamydomonas. In contrast to the chloroplast ribosomal proteins synthesized in the cytoplasm, two such proteins made within the chloroplast were found to be synthesized in mature form in cell-free wheat germ translation systems programmed with nonpolyadenylated RNA.

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