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Modern sequencing technologies should make the assembly of the relatively small mitochondrial genomes an easy undertaking. However, few tools exist that address mitochondrial assembly directly. As part of the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) we have developed mitoVGP, a fully automated pipeline for similarity-based identification of mitochondrial reads and de novo assembly of mitochondrial genomes that incorporates both long (>10 kbp, PacBio or Nanopore) and short (100-300 bp, Illumina) reads. Our pipeline led to successful complete mitogenome assemblies of 100 vertebrate species of the VGP. We have observed that tissue type and library size selection have considerable impact on mitogenome sequencing and assembly. Comparing our assemblies to purportedly complete reference mitogenomes based on short-read sequencing, we have identified errors, missing sequences, and incomplete genes in those references, particularly in repeat regions. Our assemblies have also identified novel gene region duplications, shedding new light on mitochondrial genome evolution and organization. ### Competing Interest Statement V. C., S. M. and D. F. are employees of Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited. J. K. is Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences.

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