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Int J Parasitol. 2008 Oct;38(12):1377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2008.06.001. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Complete circular DNA in the mitochondria-like organelles of Blastocystis hominis.

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  • 1Laboratoire Microorganismes, Génome et Environnement, UMR CNRS 6023, Université Blaise Pascal, 63177 Aubière Cedex, France.


Blastocystis hominis is an anaerobic parasite of the human intestinal tract belonging to the Stramenopile group. Using genome sequencing project data, we describe here the complete sequence of a 29,270-bp circular DNA molecule that presents mitochondrial features (such as oxidative phosphorylation complex I subunits) but lacks complexes III, IV and V. Transmission electron microscopy analyses reveal that this molecule, as well as mitochondrial (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit 7 (NAD7), beta-succinyl-CoA synthetase (beta-SCS)) and hydrogenosomal (pyruvate ferredoxin oxido-reductase (PFOR), iron-hydrogenase) proteins, are located within double-membrane surrounded-compartments known as mitochondria-like organelles (MLOs). As there is no evidence for hydrogen production by this organism, we suggest that MLOs are more likely anaerobic mitochondria.

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