Higher plant mitochondria contain a genetic system with a genome, transcription and translation processes, which have to be logistically integrated with the two other genomes in the nucleus and the plastid. In plant mitochondria, after transcripts have been synthesised, at least in some cases by a phage-type RNA polymerase, they have to go through a complex processing apparatus, which depends on protein factors imported from the cytosol. Processing involves cis- and trans-splicing, internal RNA editing and maturation at the transcript termini, these steps often occurring in parallel. Transcript life is terminated by RNA degradation mechanisms, one of which involves polyadenylation. RNA metabolism seems to be a key element of the regulation of gene expression in higher plant mitochondria.