Mitochondrial introns: a critical view

Trends Genet. 2007 Mar;23(3):119-25. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2007.01.006. Epub 2007 Feb 5.


Although group I and group II introns were discovered more than 25 years ago, they are still difficult to identify. Modeling their RNA structure also remains particularly challenging for organelle sequences, owing to their great diversity. In fact, accelerated evolution in organelles often results in a reduced RNA structure and a loss of autocatalytic splicing and intron mobility. We set out to identify all mitochondrial group I and II introns in published sequences, and, to this end, we developed and applied a new search approach: RNAweasel. On the basis of the results, we focus here on building a comprehensive picture of mitochondrial group I introns, including a modified (reduced) consensus RNA secondary structure and a concise phylogeny-based subclassification.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Computational Biology
  • Consensus Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Introns*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / classification
  • RNA, Mitochondrial


  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA