In this study, we analyse the evolutionary dynamics and phylogenetic implications of gene order rear- rangements in five newly sequenced mitochondrial (mt) genomes and four published mt genomes of isopod crustaceans. The sequence coverage is nearly complete for four of the five newly sequenced spe- cies, with only the control region and some tRNA genes missing, while in Janira maculosa only two thirds of the genome could be determined. Mitochondrial gene order in isopods seems to be more plastic than that in other crustacean lineages, making all nine known mt gene orders different. Especially the asellote Janira is characterized by many autapomorphies. The following inferred ancestral isopod mt gene order exists slightly modified in modern isopods: nad1, tnrL1, rrnS, control region, trnS1, cob, trnT, nad5, trnF. We consider the inferred gene translocation events leading to gene rearrangements as valuable charac- ters in phylogenetic analyses. In this first study covering major isopod lineages, potential apomorphies were identified, e.g., a shared relative position of trnR in Valvifera. We also report one of the first findings of homoplasy in mitochondrial gene order, namely a shared relative position of trnV in unrelated isopod lineages. In addition to increased taxon sampling secondary structure, modification in tRNAs and GC-skew inversion may be potentially fruitful subjects for future mt genome studies in a phylogenetic context.
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Functional Ecology
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