A method for measuring the rate of protein degradation in plant tissue is described. The method uses density labelling to avoid difficulties associated with compartmentation and recycling of amino acids. Although the technique cannot be readily adapted to measure the rate of degradation of single proteins, it avoids difficulties of interpretation due to enzyme activation or inactivation. Values for the half-life of Lemna minor protein obtained by this method are compared with values obtained by a number of other methods. To obtain satisfactory results it was necessary to improve the method of isopycnic centrifugation in CsCl gradients. A considerable improvement was achieved by using KBr gradients, and the advantages of using KBr rather than CsCl for the separation of density-labelled protein are discussed.

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