Cyanophora paradoxa mitochondrial tRNAs play a double game

Despite their monophyletic origin, mitochondrial (mt) genomes developed independently in evolutionarily divergent organisms, leading to a fascinating complexity of mtDNA size, organization, and expression that we still need to unravel. Here, we show that in the mitochondria of the glaucophyte, Cyanophora paradoxa, a freshwater alga considered a living fossil among photosynthetic organisms, tRNAs take part in a singular mRNA processing punctuation mechanism leading to mRNA-tRNA hybrids, a process not described yet and exemplifying the multiple ways the evolution has developed to express essential mitochondrial genes.

This work carried out by L. Drouard’s team was published in The Plant Journal on March 5th 2021.