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Free Content Post-transcriptional and developmental regulation of a CMS-associated mitochondrial gene region by a nuclear restorer gene

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Transcripts of the mitochondrial gene regionorf224/atp6, which is associated with the Polima orpolcytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) ofBrassica napus, differ among fertile, sterile and nuclear-restored plants. We show here that the effects of the restorer geneRfponorf224/atp6transcripts varies among different floral organs. Relative to monocistronicatp6transcripts, levels of the dicistronic transcripts spanningorf224andatp6are dramatically reduced in petals, stamens and carpels, but not sepals, of restored flowers. InpolCMS plants, the relative levels of differentorf224/atp6transcripts are similar among the floral organs. Analysis of guanylyltransferase-labeled mtRNA indicates that only the dicistronic 2.2 and 1.9 kborf224/atp6transcripts carry an initiator 5′ terminus; hence the 1.4 and 1.3 kb transcripts of restored plants, as well as the 1.1 kbatp6transcript common to all genotypes, are generated by RNA processing and notde novoinitiation. Although steady-state levels of dicistronic transcripts in flower buds are lower in restored than in sterile plants, run-on transcription experiments show that these transcripts are synthesized at the same rate in both types of flowers. These findings imply that the restorer gene acts by conditioning the removal of sequences from the 5′ end of dicistronic transcripts in a developmentally regulated manner. Run-on transcription experiments indicate that the single 1.1 kbatp6transcript ofnapcytoplasm is also generated by removal of sequences from the 5′ end of a precursor. We suggest that specific endonucleolytic cleavage of a precursor RNA, followed by non-specific 3′ to 5′ exonuclease action, may represent a common mechanism for tailoring transcripts in plant mitochondria.
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Document Type: Original Article

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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