1022-7954/04/4009- © 2004
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 40, No. 9, 2004, p. 1064. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 40, No. 9, 2004, p. 1296.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Pershina, Shumnyi.
The development of molecular biological methods
has promoted an outbreak in studies on the structural
and functional characteristics of both nuclear and
organelle genomes. No more than 40 years have passed
from the original concepts on extranuclear genetic
structures to the current data on the structure and func-
tions of mitochondrial and plastidial genetic systems.
However, this has proved enough to form one of the
most rapidly developing branches of molecular genet-
ics encompassing various issues of functioning eukary-
otic cells and numerous organisms, from the molecular
genetics of chloroplasts to medical genetics dealing
with abnormalities of the human mitochondrial
Worlds of Organelle Genomes
fundamental work on the molecular genetics of cell
organelles. It embraces all the main branches of this
biological science that emerged in the mid-20th cen-
tury. The discussion and summary of the most impor-
tant advances in this research ﬁeld form the basis of the
monograph; it also includes some results of the authors'
works and studies performed in the Laboratory of
Extrachromosomal Heredity of the Institute of Genetics
and Cytology of the Belarussian Academy of Sciences.
This monograph is the ﬁrst attempt to summarize
information on the organization and function of the
extranuclear genomes of plants, fungi, and animals; the
interactions of the mitochondrial and plastidial
genomes with the nuclear genome; and targeted modi-
ﬁcation of organelle genomes.
The structure of the monograph, which consists of
14 chapters, is well planned. A conclusion and a list of
references follows each chapter. The book is well writ-
ten and illustrated (it contains 43 tables and more than
The monograph deals with the genetics of organelle
inheritance, the origin and structure of their genomes,
the expression of plastidial and mitochondrial DNAs
and their interaction with the nuclear genome, sponta-
neous and induced variation, the posttranscriptional
correction of RNA templates (RNA editing), the
genetic transformation of organelle genomes, and prob-
lems of mitochondrial medicine. The authors have sum-
marized and discussed the main achievements in vari-
ous ﬁelds of extranuclear genetics (the monograph con-
tains 1400 references) and demonstrated the effect of
these achievements on the subsequent progress in this
ﬁeld of genetics. The problems considered in the mono-
graph will be interesting to molecular geneticists study-
ing both organelle and nuclear genomes and for those
carrying out research in various ﬁelds, from agricul-
tural to medical genetics.
L. A. Pershina and V. K. Shumnyi
N. G. Danilenko and O. G. Davydenko,
Worlds of Organelle Genomes
Minsk: Tekhnalogiya, 2003