Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 305, Issue 7, pp 563–568 | Cite as

Evidence for fungal sequence contamination in plant transcriptome databases

  • Gabor L. IgloiEmail author
Short Communication


Sequences aligning partially with plant arginyl-tRNA synthetase but that showed unexpected mitochondrial characteristics, which do not occur in plants, have been detected in the plant transcriptome database. BLAST screening of this database with vertebrate nuclear-encoded mitochondrial arginyl-tRNA synthetase revealed a set of 23 sequences that on further analysis showed high similarity to fungal genomic DNA. A detailed knowledge of the gene organization of plant arginyl-tRNA synthetase and being aware of the mitochondrial origin of fungal cytoplasmic arginyl-tRNA synthetases have provided convincing evidence that the NCBI plant transcriptome (TSA) database is contaminated with data from fungal material.


Arginyl-tRNA synthetase Database contamination Fungal RNA Mitochondrial gene Plant transcriptome 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

606_2019_1586_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (96 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 95 kb)
606_2019_1586_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (101 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 100 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BiologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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