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Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 19;9(1):4850. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41238-6.

Horizontally-acquired genetic elements in the mitochondrial genome of a centrohelid Marophrys sp. SRT127.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan. yuki.nishimura@riken.jp.
2
RIKEN BioResource Research Center, Japan Collection of Microorganisms Microbe Division, Tsukuba, Japan. yuki.nishimura@riken.jp.
3
Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.
4
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokosuka, Japan.
5
Center for Computational Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.
6
RIKEN BioResource Research Center, Japan Collection of Microorganisms Microbe Division, Tsukuba, Japan.

Abstract

Mitochondrial genomes exhibit diverse features among eukaryotes in the aspect of gene content, genome structure, and the mobile genetic elements such as introns and plasmids. Although the number of published mitochondrial genomes is increasing at tremendous speed, those of several lineages remain unexplored. Here, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of a unicellular heterotrophic eukaryote, Marophrys sp. SRT127 belonging to the Centroheliozoa, as the first report on this lineage. The circular-mapped mitochondrial genome, which is 113,062 bp in length, encodes 69 genes typically found in mitochondrial genomes. In addition, the Marophrys mitochondrial genome contains 19 group I introns. Of these, 11 introns have genes for homing endonuclease (HE) and phylogenetic analyses of HEs have shown that at least five Marophrys HEs are related to those in green algal plastid genomes, suggesting intron transfer between the Marophrys mitochondrion and green algal plastids. We also discovered a putative mitochondrial plasmid in linear form. Two genes encoded in the circular-mapped mitochondrial genome were found to share significant similarities to those in the linear plasmid, suggesting that the plasmid was integrated into the mitochondrial genome. These findings expand our knowledge on the diversity and evolution of the mobile genetic elements in mitochondrial genomes.

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