Mitochondrial DNA repair and genome evolution

Alan C. Christensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

23 Scopus citations


In plants, replicating the mitochondrial genome is probably a very minor expenditure of energy compared to the other costly activities of the cell, including replicating the much larger nuclear genome, transcription, protein synthesis and active transport. This chapter discusses the angiosperm mitochondrial genomes. The mutational burden hypothesis (MBH) explains an inverse correlation between mutation rate and genome size. The types of DNA damage that occur in mitochondria, the available mechanisms of repair, and selection on the repaired DNA products is taken into account in understanding the patterns of plant mitochondrial genome evolution. Analysis of the evolutionary patterns seen in plant mitochondrial genomes led to hypotheses of what mechanisms of DNA repair are available in plant mitochondria. The mechanism of repair ensures accurate inheritance of genes and has the side-effect of allowing duplications, rearrangements and the accumulation of junk DNA. 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Plant Reviews, Volume 50
Subtitle of host publicationPlant Mitochondria, Second Edition
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781118906583
ISBN (Print)9781118906576
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Chimeric gene formation
  • Evolutionary patterns
  • Mitochondrial dna repair
  • Mutational burden hypothesis
  • Plant mitochondrial genome evolution
  • Protein synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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