, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 406-417

Complete Mitochondrial DNA Sequence of Tigriopus japonicus (Crustacea: Copepoda)

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The complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome was determined for a harpacticoid copepod, Tigriopus japonicus (Crustacea), using an approach that employs a long polymerase chain reaction technique and primer walking. Although the genome (14,628 bp) contained the same set of 37 genes (2 ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA, and 13 protein-coding genes) as found in other metazoan animals, none of the previously reported gene orders were comparable to that of T. japonicus. Furthermore, all genes were encoded on one strand, unlike the mitochondrial genomes of most metazoan animals. Size reductions were notable for tRNA and rRNA genes, resulting in one of the smallest mitochondrial genomes in the arthropod lineage. Although it appears that such large-scale gene rearrangements have occurred in the ancestral species of T. japonicus, none of the proposed mechanisms parsimoniously account for this eccentric gene arrangement.