Mitochondrial Genome Evolution in a Single Protoploid Yeast Species

Department of Genetics, Genomics and Microbiology, University of Strasbourg/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7156, Strasbourg, France.
G3-Genes Genomes Genetics (Impact Factor: 2.51). 09/2012; 2(9):1103-11. DOI: 10.1534/g3.112.003152
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mitochondria are organelles, which play a key role in some essential functions, including respiration, metabolite biosynthesis, ion homeostasis, and apoptosis. The vast numbers of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of various yeast species, which have recently been published, have also helped to elucidate the structural diversity of these genomes. Although a large corpus of data are now available on the diversity of yeast species, little is known so far about the mtDNA diversity in single yeast species. To study the genetic variations occurring in the mtDNA of wild yeast isolates, we performed a genome-wide polymorphism survey on the mtDNA of 18 Lachancea kluyveri (formerly Saccharomyces kluyveri) strains. We determined the complete mt genome sequences of strains isolated from various geographical locations (in North America, Asia, and Europe) and ecological niches (Drosophila, tree exudates, soil). The mt genome of the NCYC 543 reference strain is 51,525 bp long. It contains the same core of genes as Lachancea thermotolerans, the nearest relative to L. kluyveri. To explore the mt genome variations in a single yeast species, we compared the mtDNAs of the 18 isolates. The phylogeny and population structure of L. kluyveri provide clear-cut evidence for the existence of well-defined geographically isolated lineages. Although these genomes are completely syntenic, their size and the intron content were found to vary among the isolates studied. These genomes are highly polymorphic, showing an average diversity of 28.5 SNPs/kb and 6.6 indels/kb. Analysis of the SNP and indel patterns showed the existence of a particularly high overall level of polymorphism in the intergenic regions. The dN/dS ratios obtained are consistent with purifying selection in all these genes, with the noteworthy exception of the VAR1 gene, which gave a very high ratio. These data suggest that the intergenic regions have evolved very fast in yeast mitochondrial genomes.

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