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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1305:45-60. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2639-8_4.

In vitro RNA uptake studies in plant mitochondria.

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Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia.


During evolution, most of the ancestral genes from the endosymbiotic α-proteobacteria at the origin of mitochondria have been either lost or transferred to the nuclear genome. To allow the comeback of proteins and RNAs [in particular transfer RNA (tRNAs)] into the organelle, macromolecule import systems were universally established. While protein import processes have been studied into details, much less is known about tRNA mitochondrial import. In plants, part of the knowledge on the tRNA import process into mitochondria has been acquired thanks to in vitro import assays. Furthermore, the development of in vitro RNA import strategies allowed the study of plant mitochondrial gene expression. The purpose of this chapter is to provide detailed protocols to perform in vitro RNA uptake into potato (Solanum tuberosum) or Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mitochondria as well as approaches to analyze them.

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