RNA metabolism in plant mitochondria

Trends Plant Sci. 2014 Jun;19(6):380-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2013.12.008. Epub 2014 Jan 22.


Mitochondria are essential for the eukaryotic cell and are derived from the endosymbiosis of an α-proteobacterial ancestor. Compared to other eukaryotes, RNA metabolism in plant mitochondria is complex and combines bacterial-like traits with novel features that evolved in the host cell. These complex RNA processes are regulated by families of nucleus-encoded RNA-binding proteins. Transcription is particularly relaxed and is initiated from multiple promoters covering the entire genome. The variety of RNA precursors accumulating in mitochondria highlights the importance of post-transcriptional processes to determine the size and abundance of transcripts. Here we review RNA metabolism in plant mitochondria, from RNA transcription to translation, with a special focus on their unique features that are controlled by trans-factors.

Keywords: RNA-binding proteins; gene expression; organelle; post-transcriptional steps; regulatory factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Plant
  • RNA