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Mitochondrial genomes in the true fungi are highly variable both in size and organization. Most of this size variation is due to the presence of introns and intron-encoded open reading frames (ORFs). The objectives for this work were to examine the mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA (rns) gene of strains of Ophiostoma minus for the presence of introns and to characterize such introns and their encoded ORFs. DNA sequence analysis showed that among different strains of O. minus various rns gene exon/intron configurations can be observed. Based on comparative sequence analysis and RNA secondary structure modeling group I introns with LAGLIDADG ORFs were uncovered at positions mS569 and mS1224 and group II introns were present at positions mS379 and mS952. The mS379 group II intron encoded a fragmented reverse transcriptase (RT)-like ORF and the mS952 group II intron encoded a LAGLIDADG-type ORF. Examples of intron ORF degeneration due to frameshift mutations were observed. The mS379 group II intron is the first mitochondrial group II intron to have an ORF inserted within domain II, typically RT-like ORFs are inserted in domain IV. The evolutionary dynamics of the intron-encoded ORFs have also been examined. Copyright © 2011 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Mohamed Hafez, Georg Hausner. The highly variable mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene of Ophiostoma minus. Fungal biology. 2011 Nov;115(11):1122-37

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PMID: 22036291

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