, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 879-890

Alloplasmic male-sterile Brassica lines containing B. tournefortii mitochondria express an ORF 3′ of the atp6 gene and a 32 kDa protein

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Analyses of mitochondrial transcription and in organello translation were performed with the Brassica tournefortii cytoplasm. This cytoplasm causes alloplasmic male sterility when combined with the nuclear genomes of B. napus and B. juncea. Mitochondrial RNA and protein banding patterns were compared between the fertile wild species B. tournefortii, an alloplasmic male-sterile B. juncea line, an alloplasmic male-sterile B. napus line and an alloplasmic B. napus line with restored fertility. The analyses were carried out to identify differences in gene expression and to investigate whether alterations in gene expression accompanied male sterility. A difference in transcription patterns between the fertile B. tournefortii and the alloplasmic lines was found for the atp6 gene. The atp6 region was investigated further, since a similar alteration in atp6 transcription has been observed in two other Brassica cytoplasms which are associated with cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). The additional longer atp6 transcript detected in the alloplasmic lines in the present study was found to contain an open reading frame (ORF) located downstream of the atp6 gene. DNA sequencing revealed that the ORF, orf263, could encode a protein with a predicted molecular weight of about 29 kDa. In organello analysis detected two proteins, of 29 and 32 kDa respectively, which were found only in the alloplasmic lines. Furthermore, the 32 kDa protein accompanied male sterility since it was absent in alloplasmic plants restored to fertility. The protein analysis might indicate that orf263 is translated and causes CMS.