The past, present and future of mitochondrial genomics: have we sequenced enough mtDNAs?
David Roy Smith
David Roy Smith is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Western Ontario, where he studies genome evolution of eukaryotic microbes. He can be found online at www.arrogantgenome.com and @arrogantgenome.
Corresponding author. David Roy Smith, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada. Tel.: (519) 661 2111, ext. 86482; E-mail: email@example.com
Source/Fonte: Science Magazine
The year 2014 saw more than a thousand new mitochondrial genome sequences deposited in GenBank—an almost 15% increase from the previous year. Hundreds of peer-reviewed articles accompanied these genomes, making mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) the most sequenced and reported type of eukaryotic chromosome. These mtDNA data have advanced a wide range of scientific fields, from forensics to anthropology to medicine to molecular evolution. But for many biological lineages, mtDNAs are so well sampled that newly published genomes are arguably no longer contributing significantly to the progression of science, and in some cases they are tying up valuable resources, particularly journal editors and referees. Is it time to acknowledge that as a research community we have published enough mitochondrial genome papers? Here, I address this question, exploring the history, milestones and impacts of mitochondrial genomics, the benefits and drawbacks of continuing to publish mtDNAs at a high rate and what the future may hold for such an important and popular genetic marker. I highlight groups for which mtDNAs are still poorly sampled, thus meriting further investigation, and recommend that more energy be spent characterizing aspects of mitochondrial genomes apart from the DNA sequence, such as their chromosomal and transcriptional architectures. Ultimately, one should be mindful before writing a mitochondrial genome paper. Consider perhaps sending the sequence directly to GenBank instead, and be sure to annotate it correctly before submission.
genome sequencing microbial diversity mitochondrial genome mitochondrial transcriptome Marine Microbial Eukaryotic Transcriptome Sequencing Project
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