A 1.2-kb DNA fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (CO I) gene of mitochondria isolated from an ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi, was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. Codons AGA and AGG appeared in its reading frame, indicating that these are sense codons in this organelle. Sequence comparisons with the corresponding regions of other animal mitochondrial CO I genes suggest that codons AGA and AGG correspond to glycine in the ascidian mitochondrial genome, but not to serine as in most invertebrate genomes, nor to stops as in vertebrate genomes. The other codons are identical to those of vertebrate mitochondria.
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