Parasitology

Research Article

The mitochondrial genome of Gyrodactylus salaris (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea), a pathogen of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

T. HUYSEa1 c1, L. PLAISANCEa2a3, B. L. WEBSTERa1, T. A. MOa4, T. A. BAKKEa2, L. BACHMANNa2 and D. T. J. LITTLEWOODa1

a1 Parasitic Worms Group, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK

a2 The Natural History Museum, Department of Zoology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1172, Blindern, NO-0318 Oslo, Norway

a3 Marine Biology Research Division 0202, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0202, USA

a4 National Veterinary Institute, P.O. Box 8156 Dep., NO-0033 Oslo 1, Norway

SUMMARY

In the present study, we describe the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the Atlantic salmon parasite Gyrodactylus salaris, the first for any monogenean species. The circular genome is 14 790 bp in size. All of the 35 genes recognized from other flatworm mitochondrial genomes were identified, and they are transcribed from the same strand. The protein-coding and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes share the same gene arrangement as those published previously for neodermatan mt genomes (representing cestodes and digeneans only), and the genome has an overall A+T content of 65%. Three transfer RNA (tRNA) genes overlap with other genes, whereas the secondary structure of 3 tRNA genes lack the DHU arm and 1 tRNA gene lacks the TΨC arm. Eighteen regions of non-coding DNA ranging from 4 to 112 bp in length, totalling 278 bp, were identified as well as 2 large non-coding regions (799 bp and 768 bp) that were almost identical to each other. The completion of the mt genome offers the opportunity of defining new molecular markers for studying evolutionary relationships within and among gyrodactylid species.

(Received September 12 2006)

(Revised October 25 2006)

(Accepted October 26 2006)

(Online publication December 11 2006)

Correspondence:

c1 *Corresponding author: Parasitic Worms Group, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. Tel: +442079426115. Fax: +442079425151. E-mail: T.Huyse@nhm.ac.uk

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