Plant Mitochondrial Mutations

Chapter
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 35)

Summary

The complex mitochondrial genomes of angiosperms tend to rearrange, leading to rapid structural evolution and to visible mutations. The observed mutations include those affecting growth and morphology, as well as male fertility. The abnormal growth mutations are usually associated with defects in essential mitochondrial genes. In contrast, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) usually results from the de novo expression of chimeric open reading frames (ORFs) in rearranged mitochondrial genomes. The expression of the CMS-chimeric ORFs can be modified by nuclear restorer-of-fertility (Rf) genes. Most of the Rf genes described to date are rapidly evolving members of a class of genes encoding pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins. Plants may also revert to fertility following mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) rearrangements that disrupt the sterility-associated region. Alternatively, subgenomes containing a CMS-ORF may be lost or highly suppressed. In many cases, the mtDNA rearrangements that lead to phenotypic changes are mediated by events involving short or microhomologous repeats. In this chapter, we emphasize work on cytoplasmic male sterility, including cytoplasmic reversion to fertility and nuclear restoration of fertility.

Keywords

Mitochondrial Genome Cytoplasmic Male Sterility Restorer Gene Illegitimate Recombination Plant Mitochondrial Genome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations:

atp

Gene encoding a subunit of ATPase;

bp

Base pairs;

CMS

Cytoplasmic male sterility;

CMS-ORFs

ORFs usually chimeric, associated with CMS;

cox

Gene encoding a subunit of cytochrome oxidase;

HR

Homologous recombination;

kb

Kilobase;

MDL

Maternal distorted leaf;

Mmt

Modifier of mitochondrial transcripts;

MSC

Paternally transmitted mosaic;

mtDNA

Mitochondrial DNA;

MSH1

MutS homolog;

nad

Gene encoding a subunit of the Complex I NADH dehydrogenase;

NCS

Nonchromo­somal stripe;

ORF

Open reading frame;

OSB1

Organellar single-stranded DNA binding protein;

PPR

Pentatricopeptide repeat;

Rf

Restorer of fertility;

RNAi

RNA interference;

SSS

Substoichiometric shifting;

TCM

Teosinte-cytoplasm miniature;

TIRs

Terminal inverted repeats

Notes

Acknowledgments

Work from the authors’ laboratories was funded by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We thank I. Small, H. Millar, J. Whelan and their group members at the Plant Energy Biology Centre in Perth, Australia for helpful discussions with KJN. We thank T. Langewisch, A. Lough, J. Flynn and M. Green for help with manuscript preparation.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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