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The mitochondrial genome of the grape powdery mildew pathogen Erysiphe necator is intron rich and exhibits a distinct gene organization


Powdery mildews are notorious fungal plant pathogens but only limited information exists on their genomes. Here we present the mitochondrial genome of the grape powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe necator and a high-quality mitochondrial gene annotation generated through cloning and Sanger sequencing of full-length cDNA clones. The E. necator mitochondrial genome consists of a circular DNA sequence of 188,577 bp that harbors a core set of 14 protein-coding genes that are typically present in fungal mitochondrial genomes, along with genes encoding the small and large ribosomal subunits, a ribosomal protein S3, and 25 mitochondrial-encoded transfer RNAs (mt-tRNAs). Interestingly, it also exhibits a distinct gene organization with atypical bicistronic-like expression of the nad4L/nad5 and atp6/nad3 gene pairs, and contains a large number of 70 introns, making it one of the richest in introns mitochondrial genomes among fungi. Sixty-four intronic ORFs were also found, most of which encoded homing endonucleases of the LAGLIDADG or GIY-YIG families. Further comparative analysis of five E. necator isolates revealed 203 polymorphic sites, but only five were located within exons of the core mitochondrial genes. These results provide insights into the organization of mitochondrial genomes of powdery mildews and represent valuable resources for population genetic and evolutionary studies.

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