Paramecium mitochondrial genes. I. Small subunit rRNA gene sequence and microevolution

J. J. Seilhamer, G. J. Olsen, D. J. Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sequences of the small subunit mitochondrial rRNA genes from two divergent species of Paramecium (primaurelia and tetraurelia) were determined. The gene lies near the center of the linear mitochondrial genome, on the same strand as are all other currently identified genes. The sequences generally resemble their counterparts found in cytoplasmic, procaryotic, and other mitochondrial sources. The rDNA gene boundaries were located by nuclease S1 protection. Small subunit rDNA spans about 1680 nucleotides, including an extraneous 83-base pair sequence very near the 3' end which is unique to Paramecium mitochondria. This 'inset' occurs at the apex of the highly variable in length penultimate helix, according to proposed models for small subunit rRNA secondary structure. A discontinuity occurs in isolated rRNA near the start of the insert, resulting in a stable 13 S RNA species and a small segment containing the remaining 3' portion of the gene. The overall rRNA gene sequence was 94% conserved between the two species, and the nucleotide differences consisted of 53% transitions, 37% transversions, and 9% insertions plus deletions. These substitutions were somewhat clustered, and the two most divergent regions coincided with the gene boundaries. The sequence was aligned with Escherichia coli 16 S rRNA for direct comparison of sequence and structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5167-5172
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Paramecium mitochondrial genes. I. Small subunit rRNA gene sequence and microevolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this