Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathways have been well-characterized in bacteria and chloroplasts. Genes encoding a TatC protein are found in almost all plant mitochondrial genomes but to date these have not been extensively investigated. For the first time it could be demonstrated that this mitochondrial-encoded TatC is a functional gene that is translated into a protein in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. A TatB-like subunit localized to the inner membrane was also identified that is nuclear-encoded and is essential for plant growth and development, indicating that plants potentially require a Tat pathway for mitochondrial biogenesis.
The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
C.C. carried out all experimental work. S.W. carried out the modeling of mtTatB. Both C.C. and J.S. planned and designed all experiments and all authors co-wrote the manuscript.
Part of this work was started while C.C. was supported by a Humboldt Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung.
Supplementary information available online at http://jcs.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/jcs.190975.supplemental
- Received April 12, 2016.
- Accepted August 30, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd