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Comparative mitogenomic analyses of three scallops (Bivalvia: Pectinidae) reveal high level variation of genomic organization and a diversity of transfer RNA gene sets

Xiangyun Wu, Xiaodong Xu, Ziniu Yu* and Xiaoyu Kong

Author Affiliations

Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resource Sustainable Utilization, Laboratory of Applied Marine Biology; South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Xingang Road, Guangzhou 510301, PR China

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BMC Research Notes 2009, 2:69  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-69

Published: 5 May 2009



It can be seen from the available mollusk mitogenomes that the family Pectinidae exhibits the most variation in genome organization. In this study, comparative mitogenomic analyses were performed for three scallops from the subfamily Chlamydinae (Pectinidae), with the goal of characterizing the degree of variability of mitogenome organization and other characteristics among species from the same subfamily and exploring their possible evolution route.


The complete or nearly complete mtDNA sequences of scallop Mimachlamys nobilis (17 935 bp), Mizuhopecten yessoensis (20 964 bp) and Chlamys farreri (17 035 bp) were determined using long PCR amplification and primer walking sequencing strategy. Highly variable size difference of the three genomes resulted primarily from length and number variations of non-coding regions, and the major difference in gene content of the three scallop species are due to varying tRNA gene sets. Only 21, 16, and 17 tRNA genes were detected in the mitogenomes of M. nobilis, M. yessoensis and C. farreri, respectively. Remarkably, no trnS gene could be identified in any of the three scallops. A newly-detected trnA-like sequence within the mitogenome of M. yessoensis seems to exemplify the functional loss of a tRNA gene, and the duplication of trnD in M. yessoensis raises a fundamental question of whether the retention of the tRNA gene copy of 2-tRNAs is easier than that of 4-tRNAs. Analysis of putative evolutionary pathways of gene rearrangement indicates that transposition of neighboring gene blocks may play an important role in the evolution of mitogenomes in scallops. Parsimonious analysis of the genomic variations implies that the mitogenomes of M. yessoensis and C. farreri are likely to derive independently from a common ancestor that was closely related to M. nobilis.


Comparative mitogenomic analyses among three species from the subfamily Chlamydinae show that the three genomes exhibit a high level of genomic variation and a diversity of tRNA gene sets, characterized by extensive translocation of genes. These features provide useful clues and information for evolutionary analysis of scallop mitogenomes.