Mitochondrial DNA rearrangements occur very frequently in flowering plants and when close to genes there must be concomitant acquisition of new regulatory cis-elements. To explore whether there might be limits to such DNA shuffling, we have mapped the termini of mitochondrial mRNAs in wheat, a monocot, and compared them to the known positions for counterpart genes in the eudicot Arabidopsis. Nine genes share homologous 3′ UTRs over their full-length and for six of them, the termini map very close to the site of wheat/Arabidopsis DNA rearrangements. Only one such case was seen for comparisons of 5′ UTRs, and the 5′ ends of mRNAs are typically more heterogeneous than 3′ termini. Approximately half of the thirty-one wheat mitochondrial transcriptional units are preceded by CRTA promoter-like motifs, and of the potential stem-loop or tRNA-like structures identified as candidate RNA processing/stability signals near the 5′ or 3′ ends, several are shared with Arabidopsis. Comparison of the mitochondrial gene flanking sequences from normal fertile wheat (Triticum aestivum) with those of Aegilops kotschyi which is the source of mitochondria present in K-type cytoplasmic male sterile wheat, revealed six cases where mRNAs are precluded from sharing full-length homologous UTRs because of genomic reorganization events, and the presence of short repeats located at the sites of discontinuity points to a reciprocal recombination-mediated mode of rearrangement.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 7, 2012
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