Journal Article

Comparative Large-Scale Mitogenomics Evidences Clade-Specific Evolutionary Trends in Mitochondrial DNAs of Bivalvia

Federico Plazzi, Guglielmo Puccio and Marco Passamonti

in Genome Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 8, issue 8, pages 2544-2564

Published online August 2016 | e-ISSN: 1759-6653 | DOI:

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Despite the figure of complete bivalve mitochondrial genomes keeps growing, an assessment of the general features of these genomes in a phylogenetic framework is still lacking, despite the fact that bivalve mitochondrial genomes are unusual under different aspects. In this work, we constructed a dataset of one hundred mitochondrial genomes of bivalves to perform the first systematic comparative mitogenomic analysis, developing a phylogenetic background to scaffold the evolutionary history of the class' mitochondrial genomes. Highly conserved domains were identified in all protein coding genes; however, four genes (namely, atp6, nad2, nad4L, and nad6) were found to be very divergent for many respects, notwithstanding the overall purifying selection working on those genomes. Moreover, the atp8 gene was newly annotated in 20 mitochondrial genomes, where it was previously declared as lacking or only signaled. Supernumerary mitochondrial proteins were compared, but it was possible to find homologies only among strictly related species. The rearrangement rate on the molecule is too high to be used as a phylogenetic marker, but here we demonstrate for the first time in mollusks that there is correlation between rearrangement rates and evolutionary rates. We also developed a new index (HERMES) to estimate the amount of mitochondrial evolution. Many genomic features are phylogenetically congruent and this allowed us to highlight three main phases in bivalve history: the origin, the branching of palaeoheterodonts, and the second radiation leading to the present-day biodiversity.

Keywords: mitochondrial genomics; comparative mitogenomics; bivalves; phylogeny; HERMES

Journal Article.  13009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Evolutionary Biology ; Genetics and Genomics

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