IMR Press / FBL / Volume 22 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.2741/4531

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Plant mitochondrial DNA

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1 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 4007 LSB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2017, 22(6), 1023–1032;
Published: 1 January 2017

Plants possess mitochondrial genomes that are large and complex compared to animals. Nearly all animal mitochondrial genomes are about 16.5. kbp in length, whereas plant mitochondrial genomes range between 200-2,000 kbp. This is curious if we assume modern mitochondria originated from a common alpha-proteobacterial ancestor. Despite their size, plant mitochondrial genomes do not contain significantly more genes than their animal counterparts. Most of the additional DNA found in plant mitochondrial genomes consists of large introns, repeats and non-coding regions. Furthermore, plant mtDNA does not exist as large circular DNA molecules but mostly as a collection of linear DNA with combinations of smaller circular and branched molecules. Studies into these highly fragmented genomes heavily imply that recombination is the main mechanism driving replication of plant mtDNA.

Plant Mitochondrial DNA
Recombination-dependent Replication
DNA Replication
Mitochondrion Phylogeny
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