The vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are in all eukaryotes encoded in the nuclear genomes by genes which have been transferred from the original endosymbiont. DNA as well as RNA was and is exchanged between organelles. A functionally successful information transfer, however, requires complex structural and regulatory alterations of the concerned gene. The recently identified variations of the information content in mitochondrial genomes of different plant species represent different stages of the transfer process. These evolutionary intermediates allow a definition of requirements and chances of successful gene transfers.