Jump to Main Content
Complete characterization of the edited transcriptome of the mitochondrion of Physarum polycephalum using deep sequencing of RNA
- Bundschuh, R., Altmüller, J., Becker, C., Nürnberg, P., Gott, J.M.
- Nucleic acids research 2011 v.39 no.14 pp. 6044-6055
- Physarum polycephalum, complementary DNA, databases, genes, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, messenger RNA, mitochondria, mitochondrial RNA, mitochondrial genome, proteins, transcription (genetics), transcriptome
- RNAs transcribed from the mitochondrial genome of Physarum polycephalum are heavily edited. The most prevalent editing event is the insertion of single Cs, with Us and dinucleotides also added at specific sites. The existence of insertional editing makes gene identification difficult and localization of editing sites has relied upon characterization of individual cDNAs. We have now determined the complete mitochondrial transcriptome of Physarum using Illumina deep sequencing of purified mitochondrial RNA. We report the first instances of A and G insertions and sites of partial and extragenic editing in Physarum mitochondrial RNAs, as well as an additional 772 C, U and dinucleotide insertions. The notable lack of antisense RNAs in our non-size selected, directional library argues strongly against an RNA-guided editing mechanism. Also of interest are our findings that sites of C to U changes are unedited at a significantly higher frequency than insertional editing sites and that substitutional editing of neighboring sites appears to be coupled. Finally, in addition to the characterization of RNAs from 17 predicted genes, our data identified nine new mitochondrial genes, four of which encode proteins that do not resemble other proteins in the database. Curiously, one of the latter mRNAs contains no editing sites.