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The American cranberry mitochondrial genome reveals the presence of selenocysteine (tRNA-Sec and SECIS) insertion machinery in land plants

Diego Fajardo, Brandon Schlautman, Shawn Steffan, James Polashock, Nicholi Vorsa, Juan Zalapa
Gene 2014 v.536 pp. 336-343
Vaccinium macrocarpon, cytoplasmic inheritance, evolution, genes, mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, nucleotide sequences, plastid DNA, ribosomal RNA, selenocysteine, sequence analysis, transfer RNA
This is the first de novo assembly and annotation of a complete mitochondrial genome in the Ericales order from the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.). Moreover, only four complete Asterid mitochondrial genomes have been made publicly available. The cranberry mitochondrial genome was assembled and reconstructed from whole genome 454 Roche GS-FLX and Illumina shotgun sequences. Compared with other Asterids, the reconstruction of the genome revealed an average size mitochondrion (459,678nt) with relatively little repetitive sequences and DNA of plastid origin. The complete mitochondrial genome of cranberry was annotated obtaining a total of 34 genes classified based on their putative function, plus three ribosomal RNAs, and 17 transfer RNAs. Maternal organellar cranberry inheritance was inferred by analyzing gene variation in the cranberry mitochondria and plastid genomes. The annotation of cranberry mitochondrial genome revealed the presence of two copies of tRNA-Sec and a selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) element which were lost in plants during evolution. This is the first report of a land plant possessing selenocysteine insertion machinery at the sequence level.