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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 1999 Jul-Aug;46(4):320-6.

A comparative genomics approach to the evolution of eukaryotes and their mitochondria.

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Département de biochimie, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


The Organelle Genome Megasequencing Program (OGMP) investigates mitochondrial genome diversity and evolution by systematically determining the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of a phylogenetically broad selection of protists. The mtDNAs of lower fungi and choanoflagellates are being analyzed by the Fungal Mitochondrial Genome Project (FMGP), a sister project to the OGMP. Some of the most interesting protists include the jakobid flagellates Reclinomonas americana, Malawimonas jakobiformis, and Jakoba libera, which share ultrastructural similarities with amitochondriate retortamonads, and harbor mitochondrial genes not seen before in mtDNAs of other organisms. In R. americana and J. libera, gene clusters are found that resemble, to an unprecedented degree, the contiguous ribosomal protein operons str, S10, spc, and alpha of eubacteria. In addition, their mtDNAs code for an RNase P RNA that displays all the elements of a bacterial minimum consensus structure. This structure has been instrumental in detecting the rnpB gene in additional protists. Gene repertoire and gene order comparisons as well as multiple-gene phylogenies support the view of a single endosymbiotic origin of mitochondria, whose closest extant relatives are Rickettsia-type alpha-Proteobacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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