The complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyta) was determined. E. huxleyi is the most abundant coccolithophorid, key in many marine ecosystems, and plays a vital role in the global carbon cycle. The mitochondrial genome contains genes encoding three subunits of cytochrome c oxidase, apocytochrome b, seven subunits of the NADH dehydrogenase complex, two ATPase subunits, two ribosomal RNAs, 25 tRNAs and five ribosomal proteins. One potentially functional open reading frame was identified, with no counterpart in any other organism so far studied. The cox1 gene transcript is apparently spliced from two distant segments in the genome. One of the most interesting features in this mtDNA is the presence of the dam gene, which codes for a DNA adenine methyltransferase. This enzyme is common in bacterial genomes, but is not present in any studied mitochondrial genome. Despite the great age of this group (ca. 300 Ma), little is known about the evolution of haptophytes or their relationship to other eukaryotes. This is the first published haptophyte organellar genome, and will improve the understanding of their biology and evolution and allow us to test the monophyly of the chromoalveolate clade.