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J Mol Evol. 2003 Nov;57(5):574-87.

Mitochondrial genome of Ciona savignyi (Urochordata, Ascidiacea, Enterogona): comparison of gene arrangement and tRNA genes with Halocynthia roretzi mitochondrial genome.

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Department of Molecular Biology, School of Life Science, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, 1432-1, Horinouchi, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0392, Japan.


The complete nucleotide sequence of the urochordate Ciona savignyi (Ascidiacea, Enterogona) mitochondrial (mt) genome (14,737 bp) was determined. The Ciona mt genome does not encode a gene for ATP synthetase subunit 8 but encodes an additional tRNAGly gene (anticodon UCU), as is the case in another urochordate, Halocynthia roretzi (Ascidiacea, Pleurogona), mt genome. In addition, the Ciona mt genome encodes two tRNAMet genes; anticodon CAT and anticodon TAT. The tRNACys gene is thought to lack base pairs at the D-stem. Thus, the Ciona mt genome encodes 12 protein, 2 rRNA, and 24 tRNA genes. The gene arrangement of the Ciona mt genome differs greatly from those of any other metazoan mt genomes reported to date. Only three gene boundaries are shared between the Halocynthia and the Ciona mt genomes. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on amino acid sequences of mt protein genes failed to demonstrate the monophyly of the chordates.

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