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J Mol Evol. 1994 Apr;38(4):369-82.

Novel features of metazoan mtDNA revealed from sequence analysis of three mitochondrial DNA segments of the land snail Albinaria turrita (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae).

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Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Athens, Greece.


The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) size of the terrestrial gastropod Albinaria turrita was determined by restriction enzyme mapping and found to be approximately 14.5 kb. Its partial gene content and organization were examined by sequencing three cloned segments representing about one-fourth of the mtDNA molecule. Complete sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COII), and ATPase subunit 8 (ATPase8), as well as partial sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 (ND6), and the large ribosomal RNA (lrRNA) genes were determined. Nine putative tRNA genes were also identified by their ability to conform to typical mitochondrial tRNA secondary structures. An 82-nt sequence resembles a noncoding region of the bivalve Mytilus edulis, even though it might contain a tenth tRNA gene with an unusual 5-nt overlap with another tRNA gene. The genetic code of Albinaria turrita appears to be the same as that of Drosophila and Mytilus edulis. The structures of COI and COII are conservative, but those of ATPase8 and ND6 are diversified. The sequenced portion of the lrRNA gene (1,079 nt) is characterized by conspicuous deletions in the 5' and 3' ends; this gene represents the smallest coelomate lrRNA gene so far known. Sequence comparisons of the identified genes indicate that there is greater difference between Albinaria and Mytilus than between Albinaria and Drosophila. An evolutionary analysis, based on COII sequences, suggests a possible nonmonophyletic origin of molluskan mtDNA. This is supported also by the absence of the ATPase8 gene in the mtDNA of Mytilus and nematodes, while this gene is present in the mtDNA of Albinaria and Cepaea nemoralis and in all other known coelomate metazoan mtDNAs.

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