Send to

Choose Destination
RNA Biol. 2015;12(10):1159-68. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2015.1090078. Epub 2015 Sep 11.

Large gene overlaps and tRNA processing in the compact mitochondrial genome of the crustacean Armadillidium vulgare.

Author information

a Equipe Ecologie Evolution Symbiose; Laboratoire Ecologie et Biologie des Interactions , UMR CNRS 7267, Poitiers , France.
b Institut de biologie moléculaire des plantes; associated with the University of Strasbourg , Strasbourg , France.


A faithful expression of the mitochondrial DNA is crucial for cell survival. Animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) presents a highly compact gene organization. The typical 16.5 kbp animal mtDNA encodes 13 proteins, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs. In the backyard pillbug Armadillidium vulgare, the rather small 13.9 kbp mtDNA encodes the same set of proteins and rRNAs as compared to animal kingdom mtDNA, but seems to harbor an incomplete set of tRNA genes. Here, we first confirm the expression of 13 tRNA genes in this mtDNA. Then we show the extensive repair of a truncated tRNA, the expression of tRNA involved in large gene overlaps and of tRNA genes partially or fully integrated within protein-coding genes in either direct or opposite orientation. Under selective pressure, overlaps between genes have been likely favored for strong genome size reduction. Our study underlines the existence of unknown biochemical mechanisms for the complete gene expression of A. vulgare mtDNA, and of co-evolutionary processes to keep overlapping genes functional in a compacted mitochondrial genome.


RNA; coevolution; isopod; mtDNA; overlapping gene; tRNA repair; transcription

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center