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StatusReference proteome
Proteome IDiUP000006639
Taxonomy696127 - Midichloria mitochondrii (strain IricVA)
Last modifiedFebruary 27, 2018
Genome assembly and annotationi GCA_000219355.1 from ENA/EMBL

Midichloria mitochondrii is an intracellular symbiont of the tick Ixodes ricinus. It is primarily restricted to the tick's ovaries, is probably horizontally transmitted among ticks via the vertebrate host, and the non-obligate symbiosis event is thought to be facultatively mutualist. The bacterium resides primarily in the mitochondrion; as oocyte development proceeds the bacteria appear to consume the mitochondrial matrix and multiply therein. The genus name Midichloria is derived from the midichlorians, from the fictional Star Wars universe. Midichlorians are microscopic symbionts that reside within the cells of living things and "communicate with the Force". Star Wars creator George Lucas stated that the idea of the midichlorians is based on endosymbiotic theory. Strain IricVA was isolated from an adult female tick collected from a dog in Varese Italy. It encodes 2 unusual sets of genes not found in other Rickettsiales genomes; 26 genes that could encode a flagellum, although no life stage that is flagellated has yet been seen, and genes encoding the cbb3 oxidase. Its interesting genomic features may help determine the nature of the endosymbiotic event that gave rise to mitochondria and the environmental conditions under which the event took place (adapted from PMID 21690562 and 17082386).


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  1. "Phylogenomic evidence for the presence of a flagellum and cbb3 oxidase in the free-living mitochondrial ancestor."
    Sassera D., Lo N., Epis S., D'Auria G., Montagna M., Comandatore F., Horner D., Pereto J., Luciano A.M., Franciosi F., Ferri E., Crotti E., Bazzocchi C., Daffonchio D., Sacchi L., Moya A., Latorre A., Bandi C.
    Mol. Biol. Evol. 2011:3285-3296(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC] [Abstract]