When mitochondrial DNA damages affect cell cycle progression

In flowering plants, the mitochondrial genome is very large and dynamic, and its stability influences plant health and development. In a study published in PLoS Genetics, scientists from José Gualberto‘s team showed that the RADA DNA helicase from Arabidopsis is essential for the stability of mitochondrial DNA, and that its absence affects plant development via activation of genes inhibiting cell cycle progression. These discoveries provide a better understanding of the rapid evolution of the mitochondrial genome in plants, as well as its interaction with the expression of nuclear genes.