Complete Mitochondrial Genome of the Medicinal Fungus Ophiocordyceps Sinensis

Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 15;5:13892. doi: 10.1038/srep13892.


As part of a genome sequencing project for Ophiocordyceps sinensis, strain 1229, a complete mitochondrial (mt) genome was assembled as a single circular dsDNA of 157,510 bp, one of the largest reported for fungi. Conserved genes including the large and small rRNA subunits, 27 tRNA and 15 protein-coding genes, were identified. In addition, 58 non-conserved open reading frames (ncORFs) in the intergenic and intronic regions were also identified. Transcription analyses using RNA-Seq validated the expression of most conserved genes and ncORFs. Fifty-two introns (groups I and II) were found within conserved genes, accounting for 68.5% of the genome. Thirty-two homing endonucleases (HEs) with motif patterns LAGLIDADG (21) and GIY-YIG (11) were identified in group I introns. The ncORFs found in group II introns mostly encoded reverse transcriptases (RTs). As in other hypocrealean fungi, gene contents and order were found to be conserved in the mt genome of O. sinensis, but the genome size was enlarged by longer intergenic regions and numerous introns. Intergenic and intronic regions were composed of abundant repetitive sequences usually associated with mobile elements. It is likely that intronic ncORFs, which encode RTs and HEs, may have contributed to the enlarged mt genome of O. sinensis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ascomycota / classification
  • Ascomycota / genetics*
  • Base Composition
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Gene Order
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genome, Mitochondrial*
  • Genomics*
  • Introns
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Intergenic