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The mitochondrial genome of the lycophyte Huperzia squarrosa: the most archaic form in vascular plants



The mitochondrial genome of the lycophyte Huperzia squarrosa: the most archaic form in vascular plants



Plos one 7(4): E35168



Mitochondrial genomes have maintained some bacterial features despite their residence within eukaryotic cells for approximately two billion years. One of these features is the frequent presence of polycistronic operons. In land plants, however, it has been shown that all sequenced vascular plant chondromes lack large polycistronic operons while bryophyte chondromes have many of them. In this study, we provide the completely sequenced mitochondrial genome of a lycophyte, from Huperzia squarrosa, which is a member of the sister group to all other vascular plants. The genome, at a size of 413,530 base pairs, contains 66 genes and 32 group II introns. In addition, it has 69 pseudogene fragments for 24 of the 40 protein- and rRNA-coding genes. It represents the most archaic form of mitochondrial genomes of all vascular plants. In particular, it has one large conserved gene cluster containing up to 10 ribosomal protein genes, which likely represents a polycistronic operon but has been disrupted and greatly reduced in the chondromes of other vascular plants. It also has the least rearranged gene order in comparison to the chondromes of other vascular plants. The genome is ancestral in vascular plants in several other aspects: the gene content resembling those of charophytes and most bryophytes, all introns being cis-spliced, a low level of RNA editing, and lack of foreign DNA of chloroplast or nuclear origin.

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Accession: 056408149

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PMID: 22511984

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035168


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