Inheritance of large mitochondrial RNA's in alfalfa

D. J. Fairbanks, S. E. Smith, J. K. Brown

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28 Scopus citations


Several large RNA molecules that migrated to electrophoretic positions ranging from 1.7-10 kb were observed in preparation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) mitochondria. F1 progenies inherited the RNA's from both maternal and paternal parents (Fig. 1). Treatment of intact mitochondria with RNase A failed to remove the RNA's, indicating that they were contained within an RNase impermeable compartment. Further purification of mitochondria in linear sucrose gradients failed to separate the RNA's from mitochondria. Transmission electron microscopic examination of sucrose gradient purified mitochondria revealed that mitochondria were free of contamination by virus-like particles, indicating that the RNA's were contained within the mitochondrion. Biparental inheritance of large mitochondrial RNA's in alfalfa provides evidence that mitochondria are inherited biparentally in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-622
Number of pages4
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1988


  • Alfalfa
  • Medicago sativa
  • Mitochondrial RNA
  • Organelle inheritance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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