Mitochondrial genome of the moon jelly Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa): A linear DNA molecule encoding a putative DNA-dependent DNA polymerase.

Abstract:

The 16,937-nuceotide sequence of the linear mitochondrial DNA (mt-DNA) molecule of the moon jelly Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) - the first mtDNA sequence from the class Scypozoa and the first sequence of a linear mtDNA from Metazoa - has been determined. This sequence contains genes for 13 energy pathway proteins, small and large subunit rRNAs, and methionine and tryptophan tRNAs. In addition, two open reading frames of 324 and 969 base pairs in length have been found. The deduced amino-acid sequence of one of them, ORF969, displays extensive sequence similarity with the polymerase [but not the exonuclease] domain of family B DNA polymerases, and this ORF has been tentatively identified as dnab. This is the first report of dnab in animal mtDNA. The genes in A. aurita mtDNA are arranged in two clusters with opposite transcriptional polarities; transcription proceeding toward the ends of the molecule. The determined sequences at the ends of the molecule are nearly identical but inverted and lack any obvious potential secondary structures or telomere-like repeat elements. The acquisition of mitochondrial genomic data for the second class of Cnidaria allows us to reconstruct characteristic features of mitochondrial evolution in this animal phylum.

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