|Mitochondrial genome of the colorless green alga Polytomella capuana: a linear molecule with an unprecedented GC content.|
Smith DR, Lee RW
Mol Biol Evol (2008) 25: 487-96.
Category: evolution, mitochondrial DNA ¤ Added: Sep 30, 2009 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
One common observation concerning mitochondrial genomes is that they have a low guanine and cytosine content (GC content); of the complete mitochondrial genome sequences currently available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) (July 2007), the GC content ranges from 13.3% to 53.2% and has an average value of 38%. Here, we present the GC-rich mitochondrial genome (57% GC) of the colorless green alga Polytomella capuana. The disproportion of GC among the different regions of the P. capuana mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggests that a neutral process is responsible for the GC bias. We propose that a biased gene conversion mechanism resulted in the GC-rich state of the P. capuana mtDNA. In addition, our analysis indicates that the P. capuana mitochondrial genome is a single 13-kb linear molecule with telomeres, which have a closed (hairpin-loop) conformation: a novel terminal structure among described linear green-algal mtDNAs. Furthermore, using a series of GC-rich inverted repeats found within the P. capuana mitochondrial genome, we describe recombination-based scenarios of how intact linear mtDNA conformations can be converted into the fragmented forms found in other Polytomella taxa.