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Genetics. Feb 2001; 157(2): 621–637.
PMCID: PMC1461501

Trichinella spiralis mtDNA: a nematode mitochondrial genome that encodes a putative ATP8 and normally structured tRNAS and has a gene arrangement relatable to those of coelomate metazoans.


The complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the nematode Trichinella spiralis has been amplified in four overlapping fragments and 16,656 bp of its sequence has been determined. This sequence contains the 37 genes typical of metazoan mtDNAs, including a putative atp8, which is absent from all other nematode mtDNAs examined. The genes are transcribed from both mtDNA strands and have an arrangement relatable to those of coelomate metazoans, but not to those of secernentean nematodes. All protein genes appear to initiate with ATN codons, typical for metazoans. Neither TTG nor GTT start codons, inferred for several genes of other nematodes, were found. The 22 T. spiralis tRNA genes fall into three categories: (i) those with the potential to form conventional "cloverleaf" secondary structures, (ii) those with TPsiC arm + variable arm replacement loops, and (iii) those with DHU-arm replacement loops. Mt-tRNA(R) has a 5'-UCG-3' anticodon, as in most other metazoans, instead of the very unusual 5'-ACG-3' present in the secernentean nematodes. The sequence also contains a large repeat region that is polymorphic in size at the population and/or individual level.

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