A Reevaluation of Rice Mitochondrial Evolution Based on the Complete Sequence of Male-Fertile and Male-Sterile Mitochondrial Genomes

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2012
Authors:Bentolila, S, Stefanov, S
Journal:Plant Physiology
Date Published:2012
ISBN Number:00320889
Keywords:Oryza, Oryza sativa

Plant mitochondrial genomes have features that distinguish them radically from their animal counterparts: a high rate of rearrangement, of uptake and loss of DNA sequences, and an extremely low point mutation rate. Perhaps the most unique structural feature of plant mitochondrial DNAs is the presence of large repeated sequences involved in intramolecular and intermolecular recombination. In addition, rare recombination events can occur across shorter repeats, creating rearrangements that result in aberrant phenotypes, including pollen abortion, which is known as cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). Using nextgeneration sequencing, we pyrosequenced two rice (Oryza sativa) mitochondrial genomes that belong to the indica subspecies. One genome is normal, while the other carries the wild abortive-CMS. We find that numerous rearrangements in the rice mitochondrial genome occur even between close cytotypes during rice evolution. Unlike maize (Zea mays), a closely related species also belonging to the grass family, integration of plastid sequences did not play a role in the sequence divergence between rice cytotypes. This study also uncovered an excellent candidate for the wild abortive-CMS-encoding gene; like most of the CMS-associated open reading frames that are known in other species, this candidate was created via a rearrangement, is chimeric in structure, possesses predicted transmembrane domains, and coopted the promoter of a genuine mitochondrial gene. Our data give new insights into rice mitochondrial evolution, correcting previous reports.

Short Title:Plant Physiology
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