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Mol Biol Evol. 2002 Mar;19(3):310-9.

Hyaloraphidium curvatum: a linear mitochondrial genome, tRNA editing, and an evolutionary link to lower fungi.

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Program in Evolutionary Biology, Département de Biochimie, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Université de Montréal, 2900 Boulevard Edouard-Montpetit, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


We have sequenced the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Hyaloraphidium curvatum, an organism previously classified as a colorless green alga but now recognized as a lower fungus based on molecular data. The 29.97-kbp mitochondrial chromosome is maintained as a monomeric, linear molecule with identical, inverted repeats (1.43 kbp) at both ends, a rare genome architecture in mitochondria. The genome encodes only 14 known mitochondrial proteins, 7 tRNAs, the large subunit rRNA and small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA), and 3 ORFs. The SSU rRNA is encoded in two gene pieces that are located 8 kbp apart on the mtDNA. Scrambled and fragmented mitochondrial rRNAs are well known from green algae and alveolate protists but are unprecedented in fungi. Protein genes code for apocytochrome b; cytochrome oxidase 1, 2, and 3, NADH dehydrogenase 1, 2, 3, 4, 4L, 5, and 6, and ATP synthase 6, 8, and 9 subunits, and several of these genes are organized in operon-like clusters. The set of seven mitochondrially encoded tRNAs is insufficient to recognize all codons that occur in the mitochondrial protein genes. When taking into account the pronounced codon bias, at least 16 nuclear-encoded tRNAs are assumed to be imported into the mitochondria. Three of the seven predicted mitochondria-encoded tRNA sequences carry mispairings in the first three positions of the acceptor stem. This strongly suggests that these tRNAs are edited by a mechanism similar to the one seen in the fungus Spizellomyces punctatus and the rhizopod amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Our phylogenetic analysis confirms with overwhelming support that H. curvatum is a member of the chytridiomycete fungi, specifically related to the Monoblepharidales.

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