Identification of Sequences Encoding Symbiodinium minutum Mitochondrial Proteins.

14 January 2016

The dinoflagellates are an extremely diverse group of algae closely related to the Apicomplexa and the ciliates. Much work has previously been undertaken to determine the presence of various biochemical pathways within dinoflagellate mitochondria. However, these studies were unable to identify several key transcripts including those encoding proteins involved in the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis, and protein import. Here, we analyze the draft nuclear genome of the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium minutum, as well as RNAseq data to identify nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins. The results confirm the presence of a complete tricarboxylic acid cycle in the dinoflagellates. Results also demonstrate the difficulties in using the genome sequence for the identification of genes due to the large number of introns, but show that it is highly useful for the determination of gene duplication events.