Scrambled Genomes

Though less Fungal (and more fungal, if you’ll grant me that) than most of the stories we cover, a recent analysis of the Diplonema papillatum mitochondria genome sequence is interesting nonetheless. The genome consists of over 100 chromosomes, each roughly 6 kilobasepairs (kbp) or 7 kbp in size. However, each chromosome contains only a short (less than 500 bp) gene encoding region. It appears that genes are scrambled, where modular genetic units are dispersed across many chromosomes. Curiously, despite having discontigous genes, cDNA sequencing identifies contiguous and properly ordered mRNA. So just how are scrambled genes expressed and asssembled?

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