A mitochondrial dysfunction induces the expression of nuclear-encoded complex I genes in engineered male sterile Arabidopsis thaliana

FEBS Lett. 2002 Dec 4;532(1-2):70-4. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(02)03631-1.


To study the effect of a mitochondrial dysfunction induced by the expression of the unedited form of the subunit 9 of ATP synthase gene (u-atp9) in Arabidopsis, we constructed transgenic plants expressing u-atp9 under the control of three different promoters: CaMV 35S, apetala 3 and A9. The size and shape of transgenic plants bearing the apetala3::u-atp9 and A9::u-atp9 genes looked normal while the 35S::u-atp9 transformed plants showed a dwarf morphology. All u-atp9 expressing plants, independent of the promoter used, exhibited a male sterile phenotype. Molecular analysis of male sterile plants revealed the induction of the mitochondrial nuclear complex I (nCI) genes, psst, tyky and nadh binding protein (nadhbp), associated with a mitochondrial dysfunction. These results support the hypothesis that the expression of u-atp9 can induce male sterility and reveal that the apetala3::u-atp9 and A9::u-atp9 plants induced the sterile phenotype without affecting the vegetative development of Arabidopsis plants. Moreover, male sterile plants produced by this procedure are an interesting model to study the global changes generated by an engineered mitochondrial dysfunction at the transcriptome and proteome levels in Arabidopsis plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / anatomy & histology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Fertility
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics*
  • Mitochondrial Proton-Translocating ATPases / biosynthesis
  • Mitochondrial Proton-Translocating ATPases / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Proteolipids / biosynthesis
  • Proteolipids / genetics*
  • RNA, Plant / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis


  • ATP9 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Proteolipids
  • RNA, Plant
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proton-Translocating ATPases