Evolution and variation in plant chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes

  • C. William BirkyJr.


G. Ledyard Stebbins has had a pervasive influence on plant evolutionary biology, in part because of his broad interests. These include the evolution of genome structure, especially as it is seen by the methods of cytogenetics, phylogenetics, and asexual reproduction. Ledyard has not worked on the genomes of mitochondria or chloroplasts, but it is appropriate that these organelle genomes be included in a symposium honoring him. We know a great deal about the evolution of the structure of the chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA molecules, i.e. about organelle cytogenetics at the molecular level. Mitochondrial cytogenetics has proved to be much like nuclear cytogenetics in many respects. Chloroplast cytogenetics is a powerful tool for making phylogenetic inferences, as is nuclear cytogenetics. And of course organelles are essentially asexual genetic systems wherever they are found, even in sexually reproducing plants.


Mitochondrial Genome Nuclear Gene Chloroplast Genome Chloroplast Gene Plant Mitochondrion 
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© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. William BirkyJr.

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