BACKGROUND: Plants possess mitochondrial genomes that are large and complex compared to animals. Despite their size, plant mitochondrial genomes do not contain significantly more genes than their animal counterparts. Studies into the sequence and structure of plant mitochondrial genomes heavily imply that the main mechanism driving replication of plant mtDNA, and offer valuable insights into plant evolution, energy production, and environmental adaptation.
RESULTS: This study presents the first comprehensive analysis of Agrostis stolonifera's mitochondrial genome, characterized by a branched structure comprising three contiguous chromosomes, totaling 560,800 bp with a GC content of 44.07%. Annotations reveal 33 unique protein-coding genes (PCGs), 19 tRNA genes, and 3 rRNA genes. The predominant codons for alanine and glutamine are GCU and CAA, respectively, while cysteine and phenylalanine exhibit weaker codon usage biases. The mitogenome contains 73, 34, and 23 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) on chromosomes 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Chromosome 1 exhibits the most frequent A-repeat monomeric SSR, whereas chromosome 2 displays the most common U-repeat monomeric SSR. DNA transformation analysis identifies 48 homologous fragments between the mitogenome and chloroplast genome, representing 3.41% of the mitogenome's total length. The PREP suite detects 460 C-U RNA editing events across 33 mitochondrial PCGs, with the highest count in the ccmFn gene and the lowest in the rps7 gene. Phylogenetic analysis confirms A. stolonifera's placement within the Pooideae subfamily, showing a close relationship to Lolium perenne, consistent with the APG IV classification system. Numerous homologous co-linear blocks are observed in A. stolonifera's mitogenomes and those of related species, while certain regions lack homology.
CONCLUSIONS: The unique features and complexities of the A. stolonifera mitochondrial genome, along with its similarities and differences to related species, provide valuable insights into plant evolution, energy production, and environmental adaptation. The findings from this study significantly contribute to the growing body of knowledge on plant mitochondrial genomes and their role in plant biology.