The N-terminal amino acid sequence of a 42.5 kDa subunit of the NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) from potato has been determined by direct protein sequencing. The sequence was found to be homologous to that of the nuclear-encoded 49 kDa complex I subunit of bovine and Neurospora mitochondria and to the sequence deduced from the mitochondrial nad7 gene identified in the mitochondrial (mt) DNA of tryp anosomes and the moss Marchantia. An oligonucleotide probe derived from the potato N-terminal protein sequence hybridized only to the plant mtDNA. Immunoprecipitation of in-organello 35S-labelled potato and wheat mitochondrial translation products with an antibody directed against the Neurospora 49 kDa complex I subunit indicates that at least in these plants the NAD7 protein is synthesized within the organelle. Comparisons of genomic, cDNA and protein sequences of the 5' coding region reveal three codons that are changed by RNA-editing and confirm translation of the edited transcripts in plant mitochondria. The NAD7 protein appears to undergo post-translational processing since the N-terminal methionine residue is absent from the mature mitochondrial protein.