A Comparison of Three Fission Yeast Mitochondrial Genomes

Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Jan 15;31(2):759-68. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkg134.


The fission yeasts are members of the fungal order Schizosaccharomycetales, a candidate deep-diverging group within Ascomycota. Although a great deal of molecular information is available from Schizosaccharomyces pombe, a model eukaryote, very little is available from other members of this group. In order to better characterize mitochondrial genome evolution in this fungal lineage, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of two additional fission yeasts, Schizosaccharomyces octosporus and Schizosaccharomyces japonicus var. japonicus, was sequenced. Whereas the mtDNA of S.pombe is only 19 431 bp, the mtDNA of S.octosporus is 44 227 bp, and that of S.japonicus var. japonicus is over 80 kb. The size variation of these mtDNAs is due largely to non-coding regions. The gene content in the latter two mtDNAs is almost identical to that of the completely sequenced S.pombe mtDNA, which encodes 25 tRNA species, the large and small mitochondrial ribosomal RNAs (rnl and rns), the RNA component of mitochondrial RNaseP (rnpB), mitochondrial small subunit ribosomal protein 3 (rps3), cytochrome oxidase subunits 1, 2 and 3 (cox1, cox2 and cox3) and ATP-synthase subunits 6, 8 and 9 (atp6, atp8 and atp9). However, trnI2(cau) (C modified to lysidine) is absent in the S.octosporus mtDNA, as are corresponding ATA codons in its protein-coding genes, and rps3 and rnpB are not found in the mtDNA of S.japonicus var. japonicus. The mtDNA of S.octosporus contains five double hairpin elements, the first report of these elements in an ascomycete. This study provides further evidence in favor of the mobility of these elements, and supports their role in mitochondrial genome rearrangement. The results of our phylogenetic analysis support the monophyly of the Schizosaccharomycetales, but question their grouping within the Archiascomycota.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / chemistry
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Gene Order
  • Introns / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Mitochondrial

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF275271
  • GENBANK/AF547983