Numerous gene rearrangements in the mitochondrial genome of the wallaby louse, Heterodoxus macropus (Phthiraptera)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2001
Authors:R. Shao, Campbell, N. J. H., Barker, S. C.
Journal:Molecular Biology and Evolution
Pagination:858 - 865
Date Published:2001
Keywords:Heterodoxus, molecular

The complete arrangement of genes in the mitochondrial (mt) genome is known for 12 species of insects, and part of the gene arrangement in the mt genome is known for over 300 other species of insects. The arrangement of genes in the mt genome is very conserved in insects studied, since all of the protein-coding and rRNA genes and most of the tRNA genes are arranged in the same way. We sequenced the entire mt genome of the wallaby louse, Heterodoxus macropus, which is 14,670 bp long and has the 37 genes typical of animals and some noncoding regions. The largest noncoding region is 73 bp long (93% A+T), and the second largest is 47 bp long (92% A+T). Both of these noncoding regions seem to be able to form stem-loop structures. The arrangement of genes in the mt genome of this louse is unlike that of any other animal studied. All tRNA genes have moved and/or inverted relative to the ancestral gene arrangement of insects, which is present in the fruit fly Drosophila yakuba. At least nine protein-coding genes (atp6, atp8, cox2, cob, nad1-nad3, nad5, and nad6) have moved; moreover, four of these genes (atp6, atp8, nad1, and nad3) have inverted. The large number of gene rearrangements in the mt genome of H. macropus is unprecedented for an arthropod.

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