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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 May; 84(9): 2858–2862.
PMCID: PMC304759

Mutation to male fertility and toxin insensitivity in Texas (T)-cytoplasm maize is associated with a frameshift in a mitochondrial open reading frame


Tissue culture-derived mutants of male-sterile and disease toxin-sensitive Texas (T)-cytoplasm maize that exhibit male fertility and toxin insensitivity carry numerous alterations in mitochondrial DNA. In these mutants, a 6.7-kilobase Xho I fragment characteristic of parental T cytoplasm has been rearranged. In the mutant T-4, the parental 6.7-kilobase Xho I fragment contains a guanine to adenine transition adjacent to a 5-base-pair insertion not found in T cytoplasm. The insertion, internal to a 345-base-pair open reading frame (T ORF13), generates a frameshift, resulting in a premature stop codon that terminates the open reading frame at base pair 222. In other mutants, the 345-base-pair ORF is part of a 3-kilobase deletion, which extends into a 5-kilobase repeat characteristic of mtDNA from T but not N male-fertile cytoplasm. Clones specific to T ORF13 hybridize to eight transcripts in T and T-4, yet only hybridize to three transcripts in T-7, a deletion mutant. Transcription of the T ORF13 region appears not to be altered in T-4, but the frameshift mutation in the T ORF13 reading frame indicates that a biologically inactive gene product could be associated with the mutational events. The results suggest that cytoplasmic male sterility and disease toxin sensitivity may be associated with presence of T ORF13 in T-cytoplasm maize.

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Selected References

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