Genome structure and gene expression variation in plant mitochondria, particularly in the genus Silene

Štorchová H.
Evolutionary biology - concepts biodiversity macroevolution and genome evolution : 273-289, 2011

Keywords: Silene, mitochondria, genome, gene expression
Abstract: The plant mt genomes are highly dynamic. Their evolution is driven by frequent rearrangements and gene transfers, whereas substitution rate is generally slow with several exceptions. The genus Silene (Caryophyllales) represents one of them and exhibits high mutation rate in mt DNA. The gynodioecious species (producing female and hermaphroditic individuals) of this genus show also a high polymorphism in mt DNA due to the balancing selection in favor of various mt genomes in the same population. Thus, Silene species possess plenty of mt markers, which facilitate the study of the impact of mt genome rearrangements on mt gene expression and function. They are also good models for the investigation of functional and evolutionary aspects of heteroplasmy, the situation when two or more organelles with distinct genomes co-occur in the same individual.
IEB authors: Helena Štorchová