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Mitochondrion. 2012 Sep;12(5):483-91. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2012.07.105. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Repeated regions in mitochondrial genomes: distribution, origin and evolutionary significance.

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  • 1Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy.


All complete or nearly complete mitochondrial genomes of Metazoa (2819) have been subject to bioinformatic analysis to investigate the distribution and features of repeated and palindromic sequences. Repeats are ubiquitous, with 29.9% of genomes containing at least one and 1.95% of total genome length being repeated. Repeat boundaries were tested for the presence of secondary structure motifs, consensus sequences or small repeats, features generally reported as associated with duplications. No significant relationship was detected, suggesting the non ubiquitousness of such features. A mechanism related to gene conversion is proposed to explain the origin of small interspersed repeats.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.

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