Mitochondrial genome diversity across the subphylum Saccharomycotina


J.F. Wolters et al. "Mitochondrial genome diversity across the subphylum Saccharomycotina" Frontiers in Microbiology 14:1268944 (2023) [DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2023.1268944]


Comparison of 353 yeast mitochondrial genomes revealed that, while size and GC content were fairly consistent across species, those in the genera Metschnikowia and Saccharomyces trended larger, while several species in the order Saccharomycetales, which includes S. cerevisiae, exhibited lower GC content. Extreme examples for both size and GC content were scattered throughout the subphylum. All mitochondrial genomes shared a core set of protein-coding genes for Complexes III, IV, and V, but they varied in the presence or absence of mitochondrially-encoded canonical Complex I genes. We traced the loss of Complex I genes to a major event in the ancestor of the orders Saccharomycetales and Saccharomycodales, but we also observed several independent losses in the orders Phaffomycetales, Pichiales, and Dipodascales. In contrast to prior hypotheses based on smaller-scale datasets, comparison of evolutionary rates in protein-coding genes showed no bias towards elevated rates among aerobically fermenting (Crabtree/Warburg-positive) yeasts. Mitochondrial introns were widely distributed, but they were highly enriched in some groups. The majority of mitochondrial introns were poorly conserved within groups, but several were shared within groups, between groups, and even across taxonomic orders, which is consistent with horizontal gene transfer, likely involving homing endonucleases acting as selfish elements.

Data Access

All supporting data and analyses are available at figshare doi: The genomes have been deposited in Genbank (Bioproject PRJNA998421).