The mitochondrial genome of the phytopathogenic basidiomycete Moniliophthora perniciosa is 109 kb in size and contains a stable intregated plasmid

We present here the sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the basidiomycete phytopathogenic hemibiotrophic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa, causal agent of the Witches Broom Disease in Theobroma cacao. The DNA is a circular molecule of 109,103 base pairs, with 31.9% GC, and is the largest sequenced so far. This size is due essentially to the presence of numerous non-conserved hypothetical ORFs. It contains the 14 genes coding for proteins involved in the oxidative phosphorylation, the two rRNA genes, one ORF coding for a ribosomal protein (rps3), and a set of 26 tRNA genes that recognize codons for all amino acids. Seven homing endonucleases are located inside introns. Except atp8, all conserved known genes are in the same orientation. Phylogenetic analysis based on the cox genes agrees with the commonly accepted fungal taxonomy. An uncommon feature of this mitochondrial genome is the presence of a region that contains a set of four, relatively small, nested, inverted repeats enclosing two genes coding for polymerases with an invertron-type structure and three conserved hypothetical genes interpreted as the stable integration of a mitochondrial linear plasmid. The integration of this plasmid seems to be a recent evolutionary event that could have implications in fungal biology. This sequence is available under GenBank accession number AY376688.

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