J Syst Evol ›› 2013, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (1): 1-12.doi: 10.1111/j.1759-6831.2012.00228.x

• Reviews •     Next Articles

Plant mitochondrial genome peculiarities evolving in the earliest vascular plant lineages

Volker KNOOP*   

  1. (Abteilung Molekulare Evolution, Institut für Zelluläre und Molekulare Botanik, Universität Bonn, Kirschallee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany)
  • Received:2012-05-02 Online:2012-09-05 Published:2012-11-15

Abstract: In plants, the mitochondrial DNA has evolved in peculiar ways. Simple circular mitochondrial genomes found in most other eukaryotic lineages have expanded tremendously in size. Mitochondrial DNAs in some flowering plants may in fact be larger than genomes of free-living bacteria. Introns, retrotransposons, pseudogene fragments, and promiscuous DNA copied from the chloroplast or nuclear genome contribute to the size expansion but most intergenic DNA remains unaccounted for so far. Additionally, frequent recombination results in heterogeneous pools of coexisting, subgenomic mtDNA molecules in angiosperms. In contrast, the mitochondrial DNAs of bryophytes, the extant representatives of very early splits in plant phylogeny, are more conservative in structural evolution and seem to be devoid of active recombination. However, whereas mitochondrial introns are highly conserved among seed plants (spermatophytes), not a single one of more than 80 different introns in bryophyte mtDNAs is conserved among the three divisions, liverworts, mosses, and hornworts. Lycophytes are now unequivocally identified as living representatives of the earliest vascular plant branch in a crucial phylogenetic position between bryophytes and later diversifying tracheophytes including spermatophytes. Very recently, mtDNAs have become available for the three orders of extant lycophytes—Isoetales, Selaginellales, and Lycopodiales. As I will discuss here, the lycophyte mtDNAs not only show a surprising diversity of features but also previously unseen novelties of plant mitochondrial DNA evolution. The transition from a gametophyte-dominated bryophyte lifestyle to a sporophyte-dominated vascular plant lifestyle apparently gave rise to several peculiar independent changes in plant chondrome evolution.

Key words: endosymbiotic gene transfer, group I and group II introns, organelle DNA recombination, RNA editing.

No related articles found!
Full text



[1] WENG De-Bao WANG Hai-Feng WENG Jia-Ying. Studies on Flavonoids in the Inflorescence of Celosia argentea L.[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2000, 17(06): 565 -568 .
[2] Wu Xian-jun;Li Ping;Wang Qian;Li Chao-luan;Huang Rong and Cheng Fa-ling. Preliminary investigation on development of male and female gametophytes in Cycas Panzhihuaensis L. Zhou et S. Y. Yang[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(专辑): 41 -42 .
[3] Gan Fan-yuan Xu Chen Zheng Guang-zhi. The Physiological Effects of Oligosaccharins on Culture Cells of Carthamus and Panax Notoginseng[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(03): 36 -40 .
[4] XIONG Zi-Xian. Genophyll Theory and Carp Theory[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1998, 15(03): 73 -76 .
[5] Minghao Li;Wei Chen;Liping Xing;Jin Xiao;Haiyan Wang;Aizhong Cao;Xiue Wang. Establishment of High-efficiency Genetic Transformation System for the Wheat Variety Alondra's[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(04): 466 -471 .
[6] Dahong Li, Dongping Zhang, Dandan Cao, Jiansheng Liang. Research Advances in Plant RACK1 Proteins[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2011, 46(2): 224 -232 .
[7] Jiang Wu-sheng and Li De-sheng. Twenty Important Plant Science Journals Covered by the Science Citation Index[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1997, 14(01): 59 -63 .
[8] Qi Zhen-sheng. What is the real[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1985, 3(02): 62 -63 .
[9] Xu Gui-fang and Zhang Jing-lan. Studies on RNA Polymerases Isolation Purification Properties and Activity in Cotyledon Segment of Phaseolus radioutus During Dedifferentiation[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1991, 8(02): 34 -38 .
[10] Wu He-ming;Lu Wei-zhong;She Jian-ming and Zhou Han-yang. Embryo Development Following Hybridization Between Lycopersicon esculentum and L. peruvianum[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1990, 7(01): 48 -52 .