J Syst Evol ›› 2022, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (1): 160-168.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12655

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Genomic architectural variation of plant mitochondria—A review of multichromosomal structuring

Zhi-Qiang Wu1*, Xue-Zhu Liao1, Xiao-Ni Zhang1, Luke R. Tembrock2, and Amanda Broz3   

  1. 1Guangdong Laboratory for Lingnan Modern Agriculture, Genome Analysis Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518120, China
    2Department of Agricultural Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
    3Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

    Author for correspondence. E‐mail: wuzhiqiang@caas.cn
  • Received:2020-03-25 Accepted:2020-07-05 Online:2020-07-08 Published:2022-01-01

Abstract: Since the endosymbiont origin from α-Proteobacteria, mitochondrial genomes have undergone extremely divergent evolutionary trajectories among eukaryotic lineages. Compared with the relatively compact and conserved animal mitochondrial genomes, plant mitochondrial genomes have many unique features, especially their large and complex genomic arrangements. The sizes of fully sequenced plant mitochondrial genomes span over a 100-fold range from 66 kb in Viscum scurruloideum to 11 000 kb in Silene conica. In addition to the typical circular structure, some species of plants also possess linear, and even multichromosomal, architectures. In contrast with the thousands of fully sequenced animal mitochondrial genomes and plant plastid genomes, only around 200 fully sequenced land plant mitochondrial genomes have been published, with many being only draft assemblies. In this review, we summarize some of the known novel characteristics found in plant mitochondrial genomes, with special emphasis on multichromosomal structures described in recent publications. Finally, we discuss the future prospects for studying the inheritance patterns of multichromosomal plant mitochondria and examining architectural variation at different levels of taxonomic organization—including at the population level.

Key words: genome evolution, mitochondrial genome, multichromosomal architecture, organelle genomes