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A hydrogenosome with a genome

Abstract

Some anaerobic protozoa and chytridiomycete fungi possess membrane-bound organelles known as hydrogenosomes. Hydrogenosomes are about 1 micrometre in diameter and are so called because they produce molecular hydrogen1. It has been postulated that hydrogenosomes evolved from mitochondria by the concomitant loss of their respiration and organellar genomes1,4, and so far no hydrogenosome has been found that has a genome1,2. Here we provide evidence for the existence of a hydrogenosomal genome of mitochondrial descent, and show that the anaerobic heterotrichous ciliate Nyctotherus ovalis possesses a new type of nuclear-encoded ‘iron-only’ hydrogenase enzyme.

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Figure 1: Electron micrographs of Nyctotherus ovalis showing hydrogenosomes.
Figure 2: The Novalis genome.

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Akhmanova, A., Voncken, F., van Alen, T. et al. A hydrogenosome with a genome. Nature 396, 527–528 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/25023

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