The gene encoding Arabidopsis thaliana mitochondrial ribosomal protein S13 is a recent duplication of the gene encoding plastid S13
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A gene encoding mitochondrial S13 is generally present in the mitochondrial genome of higher plants, but is lacking from the Arabidopsis thaliana mitochondrial genome. Previous research has failed to identify a nuclear gene capable of encoding a mitochondrial S13 protein or the protein itself. Doubts have even been raised as to whether a mitochondrial S13 exists in Arabidopsis. Here, we show that the nuclear gene encoding the plastid S13 has been partially duplicated in A. thaliana, such that the copy has lost the exon encoding the plastid transit peptide and acquired a sequence capable of encoding a mitochondrial targeting sequence. The two S13 sequences were fused to green fluorescent protein and shown to be targeted to plastids and mitochondria respectively.