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Preface/Front Matter

P. Slonimski, P. Borst, G. Attardi


In the last few years, powerful new DNA, RNA, and protein technologies have been introduced. Combined with a refined genetic analysis, these technologies have promoted rapid developments in the investigation of the mitochondrial genome in a variety of organisms and have placed this system at the forefront of modern biological research. The Mitochondrial Genes meeting held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in May 1981 testified to the extraordinary progress made in the understanding of the mitochondrial genetic system since the discovery, about 30 years ago, of the yeast “petite” mutation by Boris Ephrussi, to whom this book is dedicated, and his collaborators.

The 47 papers included in this volume cover a wide range of topics, including the mitochondrial genetic code, mitochondrial DNA replication, gene organization and expression, nuclear-mitochondrial interactions, and evolution of mitochondrial DNA. It thus provides a comprehensive account of the current knowledge concerning mitochondrial genes and a perspective of future directions of research in the field.

We wish to thank the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for financial support of the meeting and to acknowledge the invaluable help of Gladys Kist and her staff in organizing the meeting. We also thank Nancy Ford, Director of Publications, Chris Nolan, Dorothy Brown, and Annette Kirk for their expert and patient collaboration in the editing of this book. Finally, we gratefully acknowledge the interest and enthusiastic support of James Watson.

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