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Natural variation in Arabidopsis leads to the identification of REME1, a pentatricopeptide repeat-DYW protein controlling the editing of mitochondrial transcripts.

Bentolila S., Knight W., Hanson M.

In vascular plants, organelle RNAs are edited by C-to-U base modification. Hundreds of mitochondrial C residues are targeted for editing in flowering plants. In this study, we exploited naturally occurring variation in editing extent to identify Required for Efficiency of Mitochondrial Editing1 (REME1), an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) pentatricopeptide repeat protein-encoding gene belonging to the DYW subclass that promotes editing of at least two C residues on different mitochondrial transcripts. Positional cloning identified REME1 unambiguously as the gene controlling editing of nad2-558. Virus-induced gene silencing of REME1 confirmed its role in editing of nad2-558 and allowed us to identify orfX-552 as a second C whose editing is positively controlled by REME1. An unexpected outcome of REME1 silencing was the finding of a number of mitochondrial C targets whose editing extent exhibits a significant and reproducible increase in silenced tissues. That increase was shown to be partly due to the virus inoculation and partly to REME1-specific silencing. Analysis of an insertional T-DNA mutant within the REME1 coding sequence confirmed the findings of the virus-induced gene silencing experiments: decrease in editing extent of nad2-558 and orfX-552 and increase in editing extent of two sites, matR-1771 and rpl5-92. Transgenic complementation of the low-edited accession (Landsberg erecta) restored the editing of nad2-558 and orfX-552 to high-edited accession (Columbia)-type levels or to even higher levels than Columbia. There was no effect of the transgene on editing extent of matR-1771 and rpl5-92. The strategy and tools used in this report can be applied to identify additional genes that affect editing extent in plant mitochondria.

Plant Physiol. 154:1966-1982(2010) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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