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Mitochondrial Genomic Landscape: A Portrait of the Mitochondrial Genome 40 Years after the First Complete Sequence

  • formaggioni;, alessandro
Publication Date
Jul 06, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/life11070663
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Notwithstanding the initial claims of general conservation, mitochondrial genomes are a largely heterogeneous set of organellar chromosomes which displays a bewildering diversity in terms of structure, architecture, gene content, and functionality. The mitochondrial genome is typically described as a single chromosome, yet many examples of multipartite genomes have been found (for example, among sponges and diplonemeans); the mitochondrial genome is typically depicted as circular, yet many linear genomes are known (for example, among jellyfish, alveolates, and apicomplexans); the chromosome is normally said to be “small”, yet there is a huge variation between the smallest and the largest known genomes (found, for example, in ctenophores and vascular plants, respectively); even the gene content is highly unconserved, ranging from the 13 oxidative phosphorylation-related enzymatic subunits encoded by animal mitochondria to the wider set of mitochondrial genes found in jakobids. In the present paper, we compile and describe a large database of 27,873 mitochondrial genomes currently available in GenBank, encompassing the whole eukaryotic domain. We discuss the major features of mitochondrial molecular diversity, with special reference to nucleotide composition and compositional biases; moreover, the database is made publicly available for future analyses on the MoZoo Lab GitHub page.

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