Fragmented mitochondrial genomes in two suborders of parasitic lice of eutherian mammals (Anoplura and Rhynchophthirina, Insecta)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:Shao, R, Barker, SC, Li, H, Song, S, Poudel, SKanta S, Su, Y
Journal:Scientific Reports
Date Published:Jun-15-2015

Parasitic lice (order Phthiraptera) infest birds and mammals. The typical animal mitochondrial (mt) genome organization, which consists of a single chromosome with 37 genes, was found in chewing lice in the suborders Amblycera and Ischnocera. The sucking lice (suborder Anoplura) known, however, have fragmented mt genomes with 9–20 minichromosomes. We sequenced the mt genome of the elephant louse, Haematomyzus elephantis – the first species of chewing lice investigated from the suborder Rhynchophthirina. We identified 33 mt genes in the elephant louse, which were on
10 minichromosomes. Each minichromosome is 3.5–4.2 kb in size and has 2–6 genes. Phylogenetic analyses of mt genome sequences confirm that the elephant louse is more closely related to sucking lice than to the chewing lice in the Amblycera and Ischnocera. Our results indicate that mt genome fragmentation is shared by the suborders Anoplura and Rhynchophthirina. Nine of the 10 mt minichromosomes of the elephant louse differ from those of the sucking lice (Anoplura) known in gene content and gene arrangement, indicating that distinct mt karyotypes have evolved in Anoplura and Rhynchophthirina since they diverged ~92 million years ago.

Short Title:Sci. Rep.
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