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Nat Rev Genet. 2008 May;9(5):383-95. doi: 10.1038/nrg2348.

Coordination of gene expression between organellar and nuclear genomes.

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  • 1Plant Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Following the acquisition of chloroplasts and mitochondria by eukaryotic cells during endosymbiotic evolution, most of the genes in these organelles were either lost or transferred to the nucleus. Encoding organelle-destined proteins in the nucleus allows for host control of the organelle. In return, organelles send signals to the nucleus to coordinate nuclear and organellar activities. In photosynthetic eukaryotes, additional interactions exist between mitochondria and chloroplasts. Here we review recent advances in elucidating the intracellular signalling pathways that coordinate gene expression between organelles and the nucleus, with a focus on photosynthetic plants.

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