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Cell. 1989 Jul 14;58(1):69-76.

Evolution of plant mitochondrial genomes via substoichiometric intermediates.

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Department of Botany, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Comparison of the modern fertile maize mitochondrial genome (N) with an ancestral maize mitochondrial genome (RU) reveals a 12 kb duplication (containing the atpA gene) in the modern genome that is absent from the ancestor. Cloning, mapping, and sequencing of the relevant portions of the ancestral genome shows that this duplication probably arose via a three-stage recombination process involving substoichiometric intermediates. Comparison with analogous observations on yeast mitochondrial genomes suggests that this three-stage model of genome reorganization can be generally applied to plant mitochondrial genomes to explain both deletions and the creation of novel repeats, common features of plant mitochondrial genome evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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