Genome barriers between nuclei and mitochondria exemplified by cytoplasmic male sterility

Sota Fujii, Kinya Toriyama

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Since plants retain genomes of an extremely large size in mitochondria (200-2,400 kb), and mitochondrial protein complexes are comprised of chimeric structures of nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded subunits, coordination of gene expression between the nuclei and mitochondria is indispensable for sound plant development. It has been well documented that the nucleus regulates organelle gene expression. This regulation is called anterograde regulation. On the other hand, recent studies have demonstrated that signals emitted from organelles regulate nuclear gene expression. This process is known as retrograde signaling. Incompatibility caused by genome barriers between a nucleus and foreign mitochondria destines the fate of pollen to be dead in cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), and studies of CMS confirm that pollen fertility is associated with anterograde/retrograde signaling. This review summarizes the current perspectives in CMS and fertility restoration, mainly from the viewpoint of anterograde/retrograde signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1484-1494
Number of pages11
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct


  • Anterograde signaling
  • Cytoplasmic male sterility
  • Mitochondria
  • Retrograde signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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