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Comparative mitogenomic analysis of three species of periwinkles: Littorina fabalis, L.obtusata and L. saxatilis.

Journal article
Authors João P Marques
Graciela Sotelo
Tomas Larsson
Kerstin Johannesson
Marina Panova
Rui Faria
Published in Marine Genomics
Volume 32
Pages 41–47
ISSN 1874-7787
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 41–47
Language en
Subject categories Evolutionary Biology, Genetics


The flat periwinkles, Littorina fabalis and L.obtusata, offer an interesting system for local adaptation and ecological speciation studies. In order to provide genomic resources for these species, we sequenced their mitogenomes together with that of the rough periwinkle L.saxatilis by means of next-generation sequencing technologies. The three mitogenomes present the typical repertoire of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes and a putative control region. Although the latter could not be fully recovered in flat periwinkles using short-reads due to a highly repetitive fragment, in L.saxatilis this problem was overcome with additional long-reads and we were able to assemble the complete mitogenome. Both gene order and nucleotide composition are similar between the three species as well as compared to other Littorinimorpha. A large variance in divergence was observed across mitochondrial regions, with six- to ten-fold difference between the highest and the lowest divergence rates. Based on nucleotide changes on the whole molecule and assuming a molecular clock, L.fabalis and L. obtusata started to diverge around 0.8 Mya (0.4-1.1 Mya). The evolution of the mitochondrial protein-coding genes in the three Littorina species appears mainly influenced by purifying selection as revealed by phylogenetic tests based on dN/dS ratios that did not detect any evidence for positive selection, although some caution is required given the limited power of the dataset and the implemented approaches.

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