The Physical Map of the Various Transcripts of Rat Liver Mitochondrial DNA

  • C. Saccone
  • G. Pepe
  • H. Bakker
  • M. Greco
  • C. De Giorgi
  • A. M. Kroon


It is well known that mitochondria and chloroplasts possess their own DNA. Eukaryotic cell contains therefore at least two or, in the case of plants and plastid-containing micro-organisms, even three different genetic systems (1–4). The organelle genomes show a pattern of cytoplasmic and maternal inheritance. For a number of features in lower organisms this has been known already for a long time. Recently it has been shown that the same holds for the mitochondrial genome of animal cells (5–8). Although the genetic function of the organelle genomes is not yet known in all details, it is evident they are indispensable and vital for eukaryotic organisms. For the expression of their genomes, the organelles depend on the nucleus. They constitute heteronomous genetic entities, their expression and continuity being ensured by the existence within the organelles of elements coded for and synthesized by the main genetic system of the cell, the nuclear-cytoplasmic genetic system. This implies that a much higher level of genetic complexity is reached in the eukaryotic cell as compared to the prokaryotic cell. Although also in prokaryotes extrachromosomal genetic elements such as plasmids may exist, the obvious difference is that the products of transcription and translation of these elements are not obligatory for the cells to survive as is the case for the mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes.


Mitochondrial Genome tRNA Gene Cellulose Column Organelle Genome Restriction Endonuclease Enzyme 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Saccone
    • 1
  • G. Pepe
    • 1
  • H. Bakker
    • 2
  • M. Greco
    • 1
  • C. De Giorgi
    • 1
  • A. M. Kroon
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto di Chimica BiologicaUniversità di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Physiological ChemistryState UniversityGroningenThe Netherlands

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