The mitochondrial genomes of seed plants are exceptionally fluid in size, structure, and sequence content, with the accumulation and activity of repetitive sequences underlying much of this variation. We report the first fully sequenced mitochondrial genome of a legume, Vigna radiata (mung bean), and show that despite its unexceptional size (401,262 nt), the genome is unusually depauperate in repetitive DNA and "promiscuous" sequences from the chloroplast and nuclear genomes. Although Vigna lacks the large, recombinationally active repeats typical of most other seed plants, a PCR survey of its modest repertoire of short (38-297 nt) repeats nevertheless revealed evidence for recombination across all of them. A set of novel control assays showed, however, that these results could instead reflect, in part or entirely, artifacts of PCR-mediated recombination. Consequently, we recommend that other methods, especially high-depth genome sequencing, be used instead of PCR to infer patterns of plant mitochondrial recombination. The average-sized but repeat- and feature-poor mitochondrial genome of Vigna makes it ever more difficult to generalize about the factors shaping the size and sequence content of plant mitochondrial genomes.