bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2020‒01‒19
one paper selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences


  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jan 03. pii: E328. [Epub ahead of print]21(1):
    Chevigny N, Schatz-Daas D, Lotfi F, Gualberto JM.
      The mitochondrion stands at the center of cell energy metabolism. It contains its own genome, the mtDNA, that is a relic of its prokaryotic symbiotic ancestor. In plants, the mitochondrial genetic information influences important agronomic traits including fertility, plant vigor, chloroplast function, and cross-compatibility. Plant mtDNA has remarkable characteristics: It is much larger than the mtDNA of other eukaryotes and evolves very rapidly in structure. This is because of recombination activities that generate alternative mtDNA configurations, an important reservoir of genetic diversity that promotes rapid mtDNA evolution. On the other hand, the high incidence of ectopic recombination leads to mtDNA instability and the expression of gene chimeras, with potential deleterious effects. In contrast to the structural plasticity of the genome, in most plant species the mtDNA coding sequences evolve very slowly, even if the organization of the genome is highly variable. Repair mechanisms are probably responsible for such low mutation rates, in particular repair by homologous recombination. Herein we review some of the characteristics of plant organellar genomes and of the repair pathways found in plant mitochondria. We further discuss how homologous recombination is involved in the evolution of the plant mtDNA.
    Keywords:  base excision repair; homologous recombination; mitochondria; mtDNA
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010328