National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, College of Plant Science and Technology, National Sub-Center of Rapeseed Improvement in Wuhan, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. [Email]
BACKGROUND : Alloplasmic lines, in which the nuclear genome is combined with wild cytoplasm, are often characterized by cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), regardless of whether it was derived from sexual or somatic hybridization with wild relatives. In this study, we sequenced and analyzed the mitochondrial genomes of five such alloplasmic lines in Brassica juncea. RESULTS : The assembled and annotated mitochondrial genomes of the five alloplasmic lines were found to have virtually identical gene contents. They preserved most of the ancestral mitochondrial segments, and the same candidate male sterility gene (orf108) was found harbored in mitotype-specific sequences. We also detected promiscuous sequences of chloroplast origin that were conserved among plants of the Brassicaceae, and found the RNA editing profiles to vary across the five mitochondrial genomes. CONCLUSIONS : On the basis of our characterization of the genetic nature of five alloplasmic mitochondrial genomes, we speculated that the putative candidate male sterility gene orf108 may not be responsible for the CMS observed in Brassica oxyrrhina and Diplotaxis catholica. Furthermore, we propose the potential coincidence of CMS in alloplasmic lines. Our findings lay the foundation for further elucidation of male sterility gene.