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Genetics. Nov 1993; 135(3): 869–879.
PMCID: PMC1205726

Unusual Mitochondrial Genome Organization in Cytoplasmic Male Sterile Common Bean and the Nature of Cytoplasmic Reversion to Fertility


Spontaneous reversion to pollen fertility and fertility restoration by the nuclear gene Fr in cytoplasmic male sterile common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are associated with the loss of a large portion of the mitochondrial genome. To understand better the molecular events responsible for this DNA loss, we have constructed a physical map of the mitochondrial genome of a stable fertile revertant line, WPR-3, and the cytoplasmic male sterile line (CMS-Sprite) from which it was derived. This involved a cosmid clone walking strategy with comparative DNA gel blot hybridizations. Mapping data suggested that the simplest model for the structure of the CMS-Sprite genome consists of three autonomous chromosomes differing only in short, unique regions. The unique region contained on one of these chromosomes is the male sterility-associated 3-kb sequence designated pvs. Based on genomic environments surrounding repeated sequences, we predict that chromosomes can undergo intra- and intermolecular recombination. The mitochondrial genome of the revertant line appeared to contain only two of the three chromosomes; the region containing the pvs sequence was absent. Therefore, the process of spontaneous cytoplasmic reversion to fertility likely involves the disappearance of an entire mitochondrial chromosome. This model is supported by the fact that we detected no evidence of recombination, excision or deletion events within the revertant genome that could account for the loss of a large segment of mitochondrial DNA.

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Selected References

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