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Genetics. May 2000; 155(1): 245–259.
PMCID: PMC1461069

The mitochondrial genome of the brachiopod Laqueus rubellus.

Abstract

The complete nucleotide sequence of the 14,017-bp mitochondrial (mt) genome of the articulate brachiopod Laqueus rubellus is presented. Being one of the smallest of known mt genomes, it has an extremely compact gene organization. While the same 13 polypeptides, two rRNAs, and 22 tRNAs are encoded as in most other animal mtDNAs, lengthy noncoding regions are absent, with the longest apparent intergenic sequence being 54 bp in length. Gene-end sequence overlaps are prevalent, and several stop codons are abbreviated. The genes are generally shorter, and three of the protein-coding genes are the shortest among known homologues. All of the tRNA genes indicate size reduction in either or both of the putative TPsiC and DHU arms compared with standard tRNAs. Possession of a TV (TPsiC arm-variable loop) replacement loop is inferred for tRNA(R) and tRNA(L-tag). The DHU arm appears to be unpaired not only in tRNA(S-tct) and tRNA(S-tga), but also in tRNA(C), tRNA(I), and tRNA(T), a novel condition. All the genes are encoded in the same DNA strand, which has a base composition rich in thymine and guanine. The genome has an overall gene arrangement drastically different from that of any other organisms so far reported, but contains several short segments, composed of 2-3 genes, which are found in other mt genomes. Combined cooccurrence of such gene assortments indicates that the Laqueus mt genome is similar to the annelid Lumbricus, the mollusc Katharina, and the octocoral Sarcophyton mt genomes, each with statistical significance. Widely accepted schemes of metazoan phylogeny suggest that the similarity with the octocoral could have arisen through a process of convergent evolution, while it appears likely that the similarities with the annelid and the mollusc reflect phylogenetic relationships.

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Selected References

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