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Genetic system of p

lant mitochondria
Plants have 2 energy generating organelles:

chloroplasts, responsible of photosynthesis, which t

urns CO2 and sun light into glucose and oxygen.

mitochondria, which uses oxygen ang glucose to cre

ate ATP and water.
Genetic coordination
As mitochondrion, chloroplast, and nucleus have wi
thin them their own genome, the expression of thei
r genes requires coordination.

This coordination is needed not only for the produc

tion of components for respiration and photosynthe
sis, but also for transcription, post-transcriptional re
gulation, translation, replication, and organellar tra
nsmission for maintenance.
Genetic system
Due to the fact that mitochondria has its own genome
within itself, genetic systems are, SOMETIMES indepen
dent of the nucleus as they follow the instructions in t
heir own genetics, including:
- uniparental inheritance
- somatic recombination
- vegetative segregation
- gene expression
- genome organization.
Genetic transference
Mitochondria requires a lot of nuclear genes, result
of constant gene transfer with the nucleos througho
ut evolution.

This transfer is thought to have happened via RNA in


Within the plant kingdom there are examples of evol

utionary intermediates.
Genetic transference
Legumes prove that many functions originally encoded within th
e mitochondria are now being transferred to the nucleus.

For example, Cyt oxidase subunit (coxll) gene:

Pea: present in mitochondria and nucleus, but only expresse

d in mitochondria
Soy & common bean: present in mitochondria and nucleus, b
ut only expressed in nucleous.
Mung bean & cowpea: gene no longer present in mitochondr
ia, only in nucleus, where it gets expressed.
Plant mitochondrial genome
Mitochondrial DNA concentration vary greatly at di
fferent stages of plant development, presenting yet
another form of regulation required within the cell.

Respiratory demands vary greatly among different p

lant tissues, with the highest respiratory rates occur
ring during seed germination, pollen development,
and fruit ripening. This variation in respiratory activi
ty is reflected in altered regulatory signals at all thre
e genome levels
Plant mitochondrial genome
The plant mitochondrial genome is different from o
ther eukaryote mithocondrial genome in their high

Mitochondrial DNA recombination between homol

ogous repeated sequences as well as heterologous
sequences resulted in a high variable genome.
Mitochondrial DNA recombina
Multipartite genome structure: Due to the presenc
e of recombinable repeated sequences, generated
by both intermolecular and intramolecular recombi
nation events.

Subgenomic DNA molecules and inversions within t

he genome: Due to the presence of repeats in direc
t and inverted orientation.
Mitochondrial DNA recombina
Evidence that homologous recombination events m
ay occur at a high frequency in plant mitochondria c
omes from the high level of sequence identity main
tained among the homologous repeated sequences

Such sequence conservation could result from copy

correction during the course of frequent DNA excha
Structural diversity models
Brassica campestris
1. Mitochondrial genome contain recombinable repeats.
2. Recombination forms a two parts structure genome from a sing
le structure genome
Structural diversity models
Zea mays
1. Multiple recombinable repeats can happen in one genome.
2. Inter- and intra-molecular recombinations yield a highly com
plex genome structure.
3. Genomes can be in different amounts.
Structural diversity models
1. Recombinations between 2 different repeats generating del
etions and duplications.
2. Some mitochondrial recombination products may be prefer
entially maintained while others may be lost from the genome