Mitochondria undertake respiration in plant cells, but through metabolic plasticity utilize differ proportions of substrates and deliver different proportions of products to cellular metabolic and biosynthetic pathways. In Arabidopsis the mitochondrial proteome from shoots and cell culture have been reported, but there has been little information on mitochondria in roots. We compare the root mitochondrial proteome with mitochondria isolated from photosynthetic shoots to define the role of protein abundance in these differences. The major differences observed were in the abundance and/or activities of enzymes in the TCA cycle and the mitochondrial enzymes involved in photorespiration. Metabolic pathways linked to TCA cycle and photorespiration were also altered, namely cysteine, formate and one-carbon metabolism, as well as amino acid metabolism focused on 2-oxoglutarate generation. Comparisons to microarray analysis of these same tissues showed a positive correlation between mRNA and mitochondrial protein abundance, but still ample evidence for the role of post-transcriptional processes in defining mitochondrial composition. Broader comparisons of transcript abundances for mitochondrial components across Arabidopsis tissues provided additional evidence for specialization of plant mitochondria, and clustering of these data in functional groups showed the constitutive vs variably expressed components of plant mitochondria.
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