The unicellular eukaryotic assemblage Discoba (Excavata) comprises four lineages: the Heterolobosea, Euglenozoa, Jakobida, and Tsukubamonadida. Discoba has been considered as a key assemblage for understanding the early evolution of mitochondrial (mt) genomes, as jakobids retain the most gene-rich (i.e., primitive) genomes compared with any other eukaryotes determined to date. However, to date, mt genome sequences have been completed for only a few groups within Discoba, including jakobids, two closely related heteroloboseans, and kinetoplastid euglenozoans. The Tsukubamonadida is the least studied lineage, as the order was only recently established with the description of a sole representative species, Tsukubamonas globosa. The evolutionary relationship between T. globosa and other discobids has yet to be resolved, and no mt genome data are available for this particular organism. Here, we use a "phylogenomic" approach to resolve the relationship between T. globosa, heteroloboseans, euglenozoans, and jakobids. In addition, we have characterized the mt genome of T. globosa (48,463 bp in length), which encodes 52 putative protein-coding and 29 RNA genes. By mapping the gene repertoires of discobid mt genomes onto the well-resolved Discoba tree, we model gene loss events during the evolution of discobid mt genomes.
Keywords: gene loss; genome reduction; organelles; phylogenomics.