Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 81, Issue 4–5, pp 495–505 | Cite as

Transcription of atp1 is influenced by both genomic configuration and nuclear background in the highly rearranged mitochondrial genomes of Silene vulgaris

  • Karel Müller
  • Helena Storchova


An extraordinary variation in mitochondrial DNA sequence exists in angiosperm Silene vulgaris. The atp1 gene is flanked by very variable regions, as deduced from four completely sequenced mitochondrial genomes of this species. This diversity contributed to a highly variable transcript profile of this gene observed across S. vulgaris populations. We examined the atp1 transcript in the KOV mitochondrial genome and found three 5′ ends, created most likely by the combination of transcription initiation and RNA processing. Most atp1 transcripts terminated about 70 bp upstream of the translation stop codon, which was present in only 10 % of them. Controlled crosses between a KOV mother and a geographically distant pollen donor (Krasnoyarsk, Russia) showed that nuclear background also affected atp1 transcription. The distant pollen donor introduced the factor(s) preventing the formation of a long 2,100 nt-transcript, because this long atp1 transcript reappeared in the progeny from self-crosses. The highly rearranged mitochondrial genomes with a variation in gene flanking regions make S. vulgaris an excellent model for the study of mitochondrial gene expression in plants.


Transcription Mitochondria atp1 Silene vulgaris Crosses 



Gene encoding ATP synthase subunit 1


Cytoplasmic male sterility


Circularized RNA reverse transcriptase PCR


Primer extension


Restorer of fertility


Tobacco alkaline pyrophosphatase



We thank Daniel B. Sloan and Amanda L. Robertson for critical reading of this manuscript, Kateřina Haškovcová and Ludmila Busínská for laboratory and greenhouse assistance. This work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR 521/09/0261) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (MŠMT Kontakt ME09035).

Supplementary material

11103_2013_18_MOESM1_ESM.doc (38 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1 Primer extension experiment (PEX). A. Two independent PEX reactions showing the start site for a long 2100 nt-atp1transcript. B. Two independent PEX reactions showing the start site for a short 1650 nt-atp1transcript. The sequence is reverse complement relative to the sequences in Fig. 4., translation start codon is located at left. Supplementary material 1 (DOC 38 kb)
11103_2013_18_MOESM2_ESM.docx (162 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 162 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Experimental BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague, LysolajeCzech Republic

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