Rolling Circle Amplification of Complete Nematode Mitochondrial Genomes

Sha Tang, Bradley C. Hyman


To enable investigation of nematode mitochondrial DNA evolution, methodology has been developed to amplify intact nematode mitochondrial genomes in preparative yields using a rolling circle replication strategy. Successful reactions were generated from whole cell template DNA prepared by alkaline lysis of the rhabditid nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and a mermithid nematode, Thaumamermis cosgrovei. These taxa, representing the two major nematode classes Chromodorea and Enoplea, maintain mitochondrial genomes of 13.8 kb and 20.0 kb, respectively. Efficient amplifications were conducted on template DNA isolated from individual or pooled nematodes that were alive or stored at -80ºC. Unexpectedly, these experiments revealed that multiple T. cosgrovei mitochondrial DNA haplotypes are maintained in our local population. Rolling circle amplification products can be used as templates for standard PCR reactions with specific primers that target mitochondrial genes or for direct DNA sequencing.


caenorhabditis elegans; mermithid; mitochondrial dna; molecular nematology; nematode; rolling circle amplification; systematics; thaumamermis cosgrovei

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