The ∼42 Mbp assembled genome sequence for the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis reveals that most of the large scaffolds of 300-2,600 kb represent entire chromosomes or chromosome arms. Telomeres are partially assembled at the termini of 37 scaffolds, while another 43 scaffolds end in telomere-associated regions containing distinctive gene sets. Potential centromeric regions were identified on 39 scaffolds. Together, these observations suggest a karyotype of ∼40 metacentric and submetacentric chromosomes averaging 1 Mbp in size. Genes encoding RecQ family DNA helicases, along with ankyrin-domain proteins and serine/threonine kinases, are associated with most telomeres, a feature shared with some fungi. This telomere-linked helicase gene arrangement might be ancestral to both fungi and choanoflagellates in the super-kingdom Opisthokonta; however, the great lability of telomere architecture suggests that it could also be a convergent feature.
- Monosiga brevicollis
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