Stable maintenance of a 35-base-pair yeast mitochondrial genome

Mol Cell Biol. 1989 May;9(5):1917-21. doi: 10.1128/mcb.9.5.1917.


Small deletion variants ([rho-] mutants) derived from the wild-type ([ rho+]) Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial genome were isolated and characterized. The mutant mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) examined retained as little as 35 base pairs of one section of intergenic DNA, were composed entirely of A.T base pairs, and were stably maintained. These simple mtDNAs existed in tandemly repeated arrays at an amplified level that made up approximately 15% of the total cellular DNA and, as judged by fluorescence microscopy, had a nearly normal mitochondrial arrangement throughout the cell cytoplasm. The simple nature of these [rho-] genomes indicates that the sequences required to maintain mtDNA must be extremely simple.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Mitochondrial