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Phylogeny, evolution and mitochondrial gene order rearrangement in scale worms (Aphroditiformia, Annelida)

Journal article
Authors Yanjie Zhang
Jin Sun
Greg W. Rouse
Helena Wiklund
Fredrik Pleijel
Hiromi K. Watanabe
Chong Chen
Pei Yuan Qian
Jian Wen Qiu
Published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume 125
Pages 220-231
ISSN 1055-7903
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 220-231
Language en
Keywords Deep-sea, Gene order, Mitochondrial genome, Molecular phylogeny, Polychaete, Polynoidae
Subject categories Marine ecology


© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has become a powerful tool in phylogenetic and evolutionary studies. Here we applied NGS to recover two ribosomal RNA genes (18S and 28S) from 16 species and 15 mitochondrial genomes from 16 species of scale worms representing six families in the suborder Aphroditiformia (Phyllodocida, Annelida), a complex group of polychaetes characterized by the presence of dorsal elytra or scales. The phylogenetic relationship of the several groups of scale worms remains unresolved due to insufficient taxon sampling and low resolution of individual gene markers. Phylogenetic tree topology based on mitochondrial genomes is comparable with that based on concatenated sequences from two mitochondrial genes (cox1 and 16S) and two ribosomal genes (18S and 28S) genes, but has higher statistical support for several clades. Our analyses show that Aphroditiformia is monophyletic, indicating the presence of elytra is an apomorphic trait. Eulepethidae and Aphroditidae together form the sister group to all other families in this suborder, whereas Acoetidae is sister to Iphionidae. Polynoidae is monophyletic, but within this family the deep-sea subfamilies Branchinotogluminae and Macellicephalinae are paraphyletic. Mitochondrial genomes in most scale-worm families have a conserved gene order, but within Polynoidae there are two novel arrangement patterns in the deep-sea clade. Mitochondrial protein-coding genes in polynoids as a whole have evolved under strong purifying selection, but substitution rates in deep-sea species are much higher than those in shallow-water species, indicating that purifying selection is relaxed in deep-sea polynoids. There are positive selected amino acids for some mitochondrial genes of the deep-sea clade, indicating they may involve in the adaption of deep-sea polynoids. Overall, our study (1) provided more evidence for reconstruction of the phylogeny of Aphroditiformia, (2) provided evidence to refute the assumption that mitochondrial gene order in Errantia is conserved, and (3) indicated that the deep-sea extreme environment may have affected the mitochondrial genome evolution rate and gene order arrangement in Polynoidae.

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