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Theor Appl Genet. 2006 Aug;113(3):477-84. Epub 2006 May 31.

The Owen mitochondrial genome in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.): possible mechanisms of extensive rearrangements and the origin of the mitotype-unique regions.

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Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-8589, Japan.


The mitochondrial genomes of normal fertile and male-sterile (Owen CMS) cytoplasms of sugar beet are highly rearranged relative to each other and dozens of inversional recombinations and other reshuffling events must be postulated to interconvert the two genomes. In this paper, a comparative analysis of the entire nucleotide sequences of the two genomes revealed that most of the inversional recombinations involved short repeats present at their endpoints. Attention was also focused on the origin of the Owen CMS-unique mtDNA regions, which occupy 13.6% of the Owen genome and are absent from the normal mtDNA. BLAST search was performed to assign the sequences, and as a result, 7.6% of the unique regions showed significant homology to previously determined mitochondrial sequences, 17.9% to nuclear DNA, 4.6% to mitochondrial episomes, and 0.1% to plastid DNA. Southern blot analysis revealed that additional sequences of nuclear origin may be included within the unique regions. We also found that the copies of many short repeat families are scattered throughout the unique regions. This suggests that, in addition to the incorporation of foreign DNAs, extensive duplication of short repetitive sequences and continued scrambling of mtDNA sequences may be implicated in the generation of the Owen CMS-unique regions.

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