Patterns of partial RNA editing in mitochondrial genes of Beta vulgaris
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RNA editing is a process that modifies the information in transcripts of almost all angiosperm mitochondrial protein-coding genes. In order to determine the frequency and distribution of mitochondrial RNA editing in Beta vulgaris, cDNAs were sequenced and compared to the published genome sequence. 357 C to U conversions were identified across the 31 known protein genes and pseudogenes in Beta, the fewest so far for a plant mitochondrial genome. Editing patterns in the putative gene orf518 indicate that it is most likely a functional ccmC homolog, indicating that patterns of editing can be a useful determinant of gene functionality. orf518 also contains a triplicated repeat region whose members are nearly identical yet differentially edited, most likely due to differences in the sequence context of the editing sites. In addition, we show that partial editing in Beta is common at silent editing sites but rare at nonsilent editing sites, extending previous observations to a complete plant mitochondrial genome. Finally, the degree of partial editing observed for certain genes was dependent on the choice of primers used, demonstrating that care must be taken when designing primers for use in editing studies.