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Genetic aspects of mitochondrial genome evolution

: Bernt, Matthias; Braband, Anke; Schierwater, Bernd; Stadler, Peter F.


Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 69 (2013), Nr.2, S.328-338
ISSN: 1055-7903
ISSN: 1095-9513
Fraunhofer IZI ()
genetic code; gene content; chromosome structure; replication; transcriptome; phylogenomics

Many years of extensive studies of metazoan mitochondrial genomes have established differences in gene arrangements and genetic codes as valuable phylogenetic markers. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of replication, transcription and the role of the control regions which cause e.g. different gene orders is important to assess the phylogenetic signal of such events. This review summarises and discusses, for the Metazoa, the general aspects of mitochondrial transcription and replication with respect to control regions as well as several proposed models of gene rearrangements. As whole genome sequencing projects accumulate, more and more observations about mitochondrial gene transfer to the nucleus are reported. Thus occurrence and phylogenetic aspects concerning nuclear mitochondrial-like sequences (NUMTS) is another aspect of this review.