Developmental- and tissue-specificity of RNA editing in mitochondria of suspension-cultured maize cells and seedlings
Plant mitochondrial mRNAs have recently been shown to undergo editing, involving cytidine-to-uridine changes relative to the DNA sequence. We have examined the temporal relationship of editing and intron removal in coxII mRNAs in Petunia mitochondria. By using differential hybridization to probes specific for edited and unedited RNA and by sequencing of individual unspliced coxII pre-mRNA cDNAs, we found that RNA editing at any editing site can precede the splicing event. Similar results were obtained from examinations of pre-mRNA cDNAs of nad1, a gene composed of multiple exons that are both cis and trans spliced. Thus, intron removal is not required before editing can occur. The existence of editing intermediates indicates that the editing process is not strictly coincident with transcription.