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Resolving Difficult Phylogenetic Questions: Why More Sequences Are Not Enough
Three recent large-scale phylogenomics studies, which deal with the early diversification of animals, produced highly incongruent findings despite the use of considerable sequence data, suggesting that merely adding more sequences is not enough to resolve the inconsistencies.
Gene translocation links insects and crustaceans
A derived gene rearrangement common to insects and crustaceans but absent in the other arthropod groups is reported, suggesting an insect-crustacean evolutionary lineage that is separate from those leading to myriapods and chelicerates.
The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus.
The complete 14,985-nt sequence of the mitochondrial DNA of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus is determined and it is suggested that the changes observed are not independent and that the stem-loop structure found in the noncoding regions of Limulus and Ixodes mtDNA may play the same role as that between trnN and trnC in vertebrates, i.e., the role of lagging strand origin of replication.
Phylogenetic position of the Pentastomida and (pan)crustacean relationships
Gen arrangement comparisons strongly support an unforeseen assemblage of pentastomids with maxillopod and cephalocarid crustaceans, to the exclusion of remipedes, branchiopods, malacostracans and hexapods.
Cnidarian phylogenetic relationships as revealed by mitogenomics
These analyses suggest that the shared morphological characters in these groups are plesiomorphies, originated in the branch leading to Medusozoa, and the hypothesis that Staurozoa is the sister group to all the other medusozoans is rejected.
Reconstructing ordinal relationships in the Demospongiae using mitochondrial genomic data.
This work assembled a mitochondrial genomic dataset comprising all orders of demosponges that includes 17 new and five previously published complete demosponge mitochondrial genomes and assembled a modified method for the analysis of gene order data that works well when translocation of tRNA genes are more frequent than other rearrangements.
Complete mtDNA sequences of two millipedes suggest a new model for mitochondrial gene rearrangements: duplication and nonrandom loss.
It is suggested that a mechanism involving complete mtDNA duplication followed by the loss of genes, predetermined by their transcriptional polarity and location in the genome, could generate this gene arrangement from the one ancestral for arthropods.
Rapidly evolving mitochondrial genome and directional selection in mitochondrial genes in the parasitic wasp nasonia (hymenoptera: pteromalidae).
It is proposed that relatively high rates of amino acid substitution in some mitochondrial genes can be driven by a "Compensation-Draft Feedback"; increased fixation of mildly deleterious mutations results in selection for compensatory mutations, which lead to fixation of additional deleteriously mutations in nonrecombining mitochondrial genomes, thus accelerating the process of amino acids substitutions.
Mitochondrial genomes of two demosponges provide insights into an early stage of animal evolution.
The findings suggest that the evolution of the typical metazoan mtDNA has been a multistep process in which the compact genome organization and the reduced gene content were established prior to the reduction of tRNA and rRNA structures and the introduction of multiple changes of the translation code.
Key transitions in animal evolution: a mitochondrial DNA perspective.
  • D. Lavrov
  • Biology, Medicine
    Integrative and comparative biology
  • 1 November 2007
Recent progress in the understanding of nonbilaterian mtDNA is reviewed and the advantages and limitations of mitochondrial data sets for inferences about the phylogeny and evolution of animals are discussed.