The mitochondrial DNA of Dictyostelium discoideum: complete sequence, gene content and genome organization

Mol Gen Genet. 2000 Apr;263(3):514-9. doi: 10.1007/pl00008685.


We present an overview of the gene content and organization of the mitochondrial genome of Dictyostelium discoideum. The mitochondria genome consists of 55,564 bp with an A + T content of 72.6%. The identified genes include those for two ribosomal RNAs (rn1 and rns), 18 tRNAs, ten subunits of the NADH dehydrogenase complex (nad1, 2, 3, 4, 4L, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11), apocytochrome b (cytb), three subunits of the cytochrome oxidase (cox1/2 and 3), four subunits of the ATP synthase complex (atp1, 6, 8 and 9), 15 ribosomal proteins, and five other ORFs, excluding intronic ORFs. Notable features of D. discoideum mtDNA include the following. (1) All genes are encoded on the same strand of the DNA and a universal genetic code is used. (2) The cox1 gene has no termination codon and is fused to the downstream cox2 gene. The 13 genes for ribosomal proteins and four ORF genes form a cluster 15.4 kb long with several gene overlaps. (3) The number of tRNAs encoded in the genome is not sufficient to support the synthesis of mitochondrial protein. (4) In total, five group I introns reside in rnl and cox1/2, and three of those in cox1/2 contain four free-standing ORFs. We compare the genome to other sequenced mitochondrial genomes, particularly that of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon
  • DNA, Mitochondrial*
  • Dictyostelium / genetics*
  • Genes, Protozoan*
  • Genome, Protozoan*
  • Introns
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Physical Chromosome Mapping
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics


  • Codon
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Transfer