Characterisation of the complete mitochondrial genome of the insect-parasitic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora: an idiosyncratic gene order and the presence of multiple long non-coding regions
Regeai, Sassia Omar
Fitzpatrick, David A.
Burnell, Ann M.
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We present here the complete mtDNA genome (mitogenome) of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, an important biological control agent of soil-dwelling insect pests in agriculture and horticulture. This is the first description of a mitogenome for a member of the family Heterorhabditidae. The genome contains the typical chromadorean complement of 12 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and two rRNA genes. All genes are transcribed in the same direction and have a nucleotide composition high in A and T. For the entire genome, the nucleotide contents are 47.02% (T), 28.81% (A), 16.10% (G), 8.08% (C) and 75.83% (AT). Heterorhabditis bacteriophora has a unique, idiosyncratic gene arrangement. It differs from that of Caenorhabditis elegans in having a block of seven genes: trnQ-trnF-cytb-trnL1-cox3-trnT-nad4 translocated to a position between nad3 and nad5, as well as having a change in the position of the four tRNA block gene cluster, trnC-trnM-trnD-trnG, where trnC and trnM have switched places and trnD and trnG have translocated between nad4 and nad5 genes. The H. bacteriophora mitogenome is 18 128 bp long, and thus is ca 4 kb larger than the mitogenomes of most chromadoreans. This relatively large genome is due to the presence of five non-coding regions (NCR): NCR1 (114 bp), NCR2 (159 bp), NCR3 (498 bp), NCR4 (1917 bp) and NCR5 (2154 bp), which make up 26.7% of the genome. The NCR5 had the highest A + T content of 83.47% indicating that this region is the likely AT-rich control region. The complete 498 bp NCR3 sequence is duplicated in NCR4 and in NCR5 (the putative AT-rich control region). Such an organisation has not been reported previously in nematode mtDNA.
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