Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2009
Publication Date: September 23, 2009
Citation: Havey, M.J., Bartoszewski, G., Malepszy, S. 2009. Cucumber as a Model for Organellar Genetics [abstract]. Joint Congress SBD and SGD Otocec. p. 62.
Mitochondria are found in the cells of all eukaryotes, are imperative for energy production, and play important roles in programmed cell death, ageing, and disease development. Mitochondria possess their own DNA and encode for approximately 20 proteins, as well as their own ribosomal and transfer RNAs. For the vast majority of animals and plants, mitochondria are maternally transmitted. Cucumber is a unique model system because its mitochondria are paternally transmitted and possess an extremely large amount of DNA (over 80 times bigger than humans or yeast). The enormous size of the cucumber mitochondrial DNA is due primarily to the accumulation of short repetitive DNA motifs. Recombination among these repetitive DNAs affects gene expression to produce mitochondrial mutants. We are working to develop cucumber as a model plant for mitochondrial transformation because microspores possess relatively few, huge mitochondria, which are targets for biolistic transformation and paternal transmission to progenies.