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Remnants Of A DNA Polymerase Gene In The Mitochondrial DNA Of Marchantia Polymorpha

B. Weber, T. Börner, A. Weihe
Published 2004 · Biology, Medicine

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Plant mitochondrial genomes are variable in size and function, and little is known about mitochondrial gene expression or the replication of the mitochondrial (mt)DNA. Mitochondrial DNA polymerases have been partially purified from only a few higher plants, such as soybean (Heinhorst et al. 1990), wheat (Christophe et al. 1981) and Chenopodium (Meigner et al. 1993), and in all cases were classified as enzymes of the y type (Weissbach et al. 1975). Attempts to identify and isolate the gene(s) encoding plant mitochondrial DNA polymerases have yet to be met with success. An open reading frame, ORF3, encoding a DNA polymerase was found on a linear plasmid (S-l) in the mitochondria of CMS-S maize (Paillard et al. 1985; Kuzmin and Levchenko 1987), but no correlation of the putative translation product of the ORF with mitochondrial DNA synthesis has yet been demonstrated. Recently, a DNA polymerase-related sequence has been found in rye mtDNA (Dohmen and Tudzynski 1993) which contains several, but not all, conserved polymerase regions and is lacking exonuclease sequences. The same type of DNA polymerase-related sequences have been found on linear mitochondrial plasmids of fungi (Oeser and Tudzynski 1989; Chan et al. 1991). The presumptive translation products of these ORFs can be classified (like the DNA polymerases of phages) as family-B polymerases, and their characteristics correlate with the biochemical data from partially purified mitochondrial DNA polymerases. On the other hand, the nuclear-encoded single-subunit mitochondrial DNA polymerase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae shows significant homology to family-A polymerases (Ito and
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