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Fungal Genet Biol. 2004 Oct;41(10):930-40.

The analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of Lecanicillium muscarium (synonym Verticillium lecanii) suggests a minimum common gene organization in mtDNAs of Sordariomycetes: phylogenetic implications.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistemiopolis, Athens 157 01, Greece.


The mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of the entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium muscarium (synonym Verticillium lecanii) with a total size of 24,499-bp has been analyzed. So far, it is the smallest known mitochondrial genome among Pezizomycotina, with an extremely compact gene organization and only one group-I intron in its large ribosomal RNA (rnl) gene. It contains the 14 typical genes coding for proteins related to oxidative phosphorylation, the two rRNA genes, one intronic ORF coding for a possible ribosomal protein (rps), and a set of 25 tRNA genes which recognize codons for all amino acids, except alanine and cysteine. All genes are transcribed from the same DNA strand. Gene order comparison with all available complete fungal mtDNAs-representatives of all four Phyla are included-revealed some characteristic common features like uninterrupted gene pairs, overlapping genes, and extremely variable intergenic regions, that can all be exploited for the study of fungal mitochondrial genomes. Moreover, a minimum common mtDNA gene order could be detected, in two units, for all known Sordariomycetes namely nad1-nad4-atp8-atp6 and rns-cox3-rnl, which can be extended in Hypocreales, to nad4L-nad5-cob-cox1-nad1-nad4-atp8-atp6 and rns-cox3-rnl nad2-nad3, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of all fungal mtDNA essential protein-coding genes as one unit, clearly demonstrated the superiority of small genome (mtDNA) over single gene comparisons.

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