The plant mitochondrial proteome might contain as many as 2000-3000 different gene products, each of which might undergo post-translational modification. Recent studies using analytical methods, such as one-, two- and three-dimensional gel electrophoresis and one- and two-dimensional liquid chromatography linked on-line with tandem mass spectrometry, have identified >400 mitochondrial proteins, including subunits of mitochondrial respiratory complexes, supercomplexes, phosphorylated proteins and oxidized proteins. The results also highlight a range of new mitochondrial proteins, new mitochondrial functions and possible new mechanisms for regulating mitochondrial metabolism. More than 70 identified proteins in Arabidopsis mitochondrial samples lack similarity to any protein of known function. In some cases, unknown proteins were found to form part of protein complexes, which allows a functional context to be defined for them. There are indications that some of these proteins add novel activities to mitochondrial protein complexes in plants.