Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Chustecki JM, Etherington RD, Gibbs DJ, Johnston IG. 2022. Altered collective mitochondrial dynamics in the Arabidopsis msh1 mutant compromising organelle DNA maintenance. Journal of Experimental Botany 73, 5428–5439


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Plant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can become damaged in many ways. A major repair mechanism is homologous recombination, which requires an undamaged DNA template. Presumably, this template comes from a different mitochondrion in the same cell. Plant mitochondria undergo fission and fusion to form transient networks which could allow the exchange of genetic information. To test this hypothesis, Chustecki et al. (2022) used msh1 mutants with defective DNA repair, and showed that mitochondrial interactions increased, revealing a link between the physical and genetic behavior of mitochondria.

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