Mitochondrial biogenesis in plants during seed germination Academic Article uri icon


  • Mitochondria occupy a central role in the eukaryotic cell. In addition to being major sources of cellular energy, mitochondria are also involved in a diverse range of functions including signalling, the synthesis of many essential organic compounds and a role in programmed cell death. The active proliferation and differentiation of mitochondria is termed mitochondrial biogenesis and necessitates the coordinated communication of mitochondrial status within an integrated cellular network. Two models of mitochondrial biogenesis have been defined previously, the growth and division model and the maturation model. The former describes the growth and division of pre-existing mature organelles through a form of binary fission, while the latter describes the propagation of mitochondria from structurally and biochemically simple promitochondrial structures that upon appropriate stimuli, mature into fully functional mitochondria. In the last decade, a number of studies have utilised seed germination in plants as a platform for the examination of the processes occurring during mitochondrial biogenesis. These studies have revealed many new aspects of the tightly regulated procession of events that define mitochondrial biogenesis during this period of rapid development. A model for mitochondrial biogenesis that supports the maturation of mitochondria from promitochondrial structures has emerged, where mitochondrial signalling plays a crucial role in the early steps of seed germination.

publication date

  • 2014