Evolution and function of fragmented animal mitochondrial genomes (2012)

The mitochondrial genomes of animals typically consist of a single circular chromosome that is ~16 kb long and has 37 genes. This genome structure has persisted for ~600 million years in most animals, from worms to humans. In stark contrast, however, in a group of blood-feeding insects, the typical single mitochondrial chromosome has fragmented into numerous circular mini-chromosomes. Each mini-chromosome is ~3 kb and has 1-3 genes. This project aims to discover why mitochondrial genomes are in pieces in these insects, and how fragmented mitochondrial genomes evolve, replicate and transcibe. Knowledge generated from this project will lay the foundation for exploring new approaches to mitochondrial genetic diseases in humans.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
  • Research Fellow
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
Funded by:
Australian Research Council