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2020/02/17 ABRC Seminar

Speaker: Dr. Shin-ichi Arimura (Associate Professor, Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Graduate School of Agricultural & Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan)
Topic: Plant mitochondria, their dynamics and genome-editing

Plant mitochondrial genomes varies in size, from 100kb to >10Mb, which are much larger than those of animals (16kb). Speed of movement of mitochondria in the sessile plants is about ten times faster than those in animals. More than hundreds mitochondria share ca 50 copies of their genome in each plant cell. Constant fission and fusion of mitochondria are thought to compensate for the shortage of genetic information in each mitochondrion. There are many enigmas remaining in plant mitochondrial dynamics and their genomes. Lack of methods for transforming plant mitochondrial genomes has hampered our understanding of mitochondria and their genes. One of the most important genes in the genome is for cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), which is widely used in hybrid seed production in agriculture. We recently succeeded to edit CMS-related genes (orf79 and orf125) in their mitochondrial genomes of male-sterile rice and rapeseed by using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) with mitochondrial localization signals (mitoTALENs) and to restore fertility. The configurations of the mitochondrial genomes changed without lacking essential genes by homologous recombination.

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