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Open Access Research article

The complete mitochondrial genome of a basal teleost, the Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus, Osteoglossidae)

Gen Hua Yue13, Woei Chang Liew1 and Laszlo Orban12*

Author Affiliations

1 Reproductive Genomics Group, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore

2 Department of Biological Sciences, The National University of Singapore, Singapore

3 Molecular Population Genetics Group, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, NUS, Singapore 117604, Singapore

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BMC Genomics 2006, 7:242  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-242

Published: 21 September 2006

Abstract

Background

Mitochondrial DNA-derived sequences have become popular markers for evolutionary studies, as their comparison may yield significant insights into the evolution of both the organisms and their genomes. From the more than 24,000 teleost species, only 254 complete mtDNA sequences are available (GenBank status on 06 Sep 2006). In this paper, we report the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Asian arowana, a basal bonytongue fish species, which belongs to the order of Osteoglossiformes.

Results

The complete mitochondrial genomic sequence (mtDNA) of Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) was determined by using shotgun sequencing method. The length of Asian arowana mtDNA is ca. 16,650 bp (its variation is due to polymorphic repeats in the control region), containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA and 2 rRNA genes. Twelve of the thirteen protein coding genes were found to be encoded by the heavy strand in the order typically observed for vertebrate mitochondrial genomes, whereas only nad6 was located on the light strand. An interesting feature of Asian arowana mitogenome is that two different repeat arrays were identified in the control region: a 37 bp tandem repeat at the 5' end and an AT-type dinucleotide microsatellite at the 3' end. Both repeats show polymorphism among the six individuals tested; moreover the former one is present in the mitochondrial genomes of several other teleost groups. The TACAT motif described earlier only from mammals and lungfish was found in the tandem repeat of several osteoglossid and eel species. Phylogenetic analysis of fish species representing Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii taxa has shown that the Asian arowana is located near the baseline of the teleost tree, confirming its status among the ancestral teleost lineages.

Conclusion

The mitogenome of Asian arowana is very similar to the typical vertebrate mitochondrial genome in terms of gene arrangements, codon usage and base composition. However its control region contains two different types of repeat units at both ends, an interesting feature that to our knowledge has never been reported before for other vertebrate mitochondrial control regions. Phylogenetic analysis using the complete mtDNA sequence of Asian arowana confirmed that it belongs to an ancestral teleost lineage.