The mitochondrial genome of Moniliophthora roreri, the frosty pod rot pathogen of cacao

Gustavo G.L. Costa, Odalys G. Cabrera, Ricardo A. Tiburcio, Francisco J. Medrano, Marcelo F. Carazzolle, Daniela P.T. Thomazella, Stephen C. Schuster, John E. Carlson, Mark J. Guiltinan, Bryan A. Bailey, Piotr Mieczkowski, Gonçalo A.G. Pereira, Lyndel W. Meinhardt

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23 Scopus citations


In this study, we report the sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of the Basidiomycete fungus Moniliophthora roreri, which is the etiologic agent of frosty pod rot of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.). We also compare it to the mtDNA from the closely-related species Moniliophthora perniciosa, which causes witches' broom disease of cacao. The 94 Kb mtDNA genome of M. roreri has a circular topology and codes for the typical 14 mt genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. It also codes for both rRNA genes, a ribosomal protein subunit, 13 intronic open reading frames (ORFs), and a full complement of 27 tRNA genes. The conserved genes of M. roreri mtDNA are completely syntenic with homologous genes of the 109 Kb mtDNA of M. perniciosa. As in M. perniciosa, M. roreri mtDNA contains a high number of hypothetical ORFs (28), a remarkable feature that make Moniliophthoras the largest reservoir of hypothetical ORFs among sequenced fungal mtDNA. Additionally, the mt genome of M. roreri has three free invertron-like linear mt plasmids, one of which is very similar to that previously described as integrated into the main M. perniciosa mtDNA molecule. Moniliophthora roreri mtDNA also has a region of suspected plasmid origin containing 15 hypothetical ORFs distributed in both strands. One of these ORFs is similar to an ORF in the mtDNA gene encoding DNA polymerase in Pleurotus ostreatus. The comparison to M. perniciosa showed that the 15 Kb difference in mtDNA sizes is mainly attributed to a lower abundance of repetitive regions in M. roreri (5.8 Kb vs 20.7 Kb). The most notable differences between M. roreri and M. perniciosa mtDNA are attributed to repeats and regions of plasmid origin. These elements might have contributed to the rapid evolution of mtDNA. Since M. roreri is the second species of the genus Moniliophthora whose mtDNA genome has been sequenced, the data presented here contribute valuable information for understanding the evolution of fungal mt genomes among closely-related species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
JournalFungal Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Infectious Diseases


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