The outer mitochondrial membrane in higher plants Academic Article uri icon


  • The acquisition and integration of intracellular organelles, such as mitochondria and plastids, were important steps in the emergence of complex multicellular life. Although the outer membranes of these organelles have lost many of the functions of their free-living bacterial ancestor, others were acquired during organellogenesis. To date, the biological roles of these proteins have not been systematically characterized. In this review, we discuss the evolutionary origins and functions of outer membrane mitochondrial (OMM) proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. Our analysis, using phylogenetic inference, indicates that several OMM proteins either acquired novel functional roles or were recruited from other subcellular localizations during evolution in Arabidopsis. These observations suggest the existence of novel communication routes and functions between organelles within plant cells.


  • Duncan, Owen
  • van der Merwe, Margaretha J
  • Daley, Daniel O
  • Whelan, James

publication date

  • April 2013