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Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 Jan 11;16(1):327-46.

Phylogenetic relationships and altered genome structures among Tetrahymena mitochondrial DNAs.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0215.


Tetrahymena thermophila mitochondrial DNA is a linear molecule with two tRNAs, large subunit beta (LSU beta) rRNA (21S rRNA) and LSU alpha rRNA (5.8S-like RNA) encoded near each terminus. The DNA sequence of approximately 550 bp of this region was determined in six species of Tetrahymena. In three species the LSU beta rRNA and tRNA(leu) genes were not present on one end of the DNA, demonstrating a mitochondrial genome organization different from that of T. thermophila. The DNA sequence of the LSU alpha rRNA was used to construct a mitochondrial phylogenetic tree, which was found to be topologically equivalent to a phylogenetic tree based on nuclear small subunit rRNA sequences (Sogin et al. (1986) EMBO J. 5, 3625-3630). The mitochondrial rRNA gene was found to accumulate base-pair substitutions considerably faster than the nuclear rRNA gene, the rate difference being similar to that observed for mammals.

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