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PLOS ONE  2013 

The Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) and Implications for Anseriformes Taxonomy

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063334

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Mitochondrial DNA plays an important role in living organisms, and has been used as a powerful molecular marker in a variety of evolutionary studies. In this study, we determined the complete mtDNA of Bean goose (Anser fabalis), which is 16,688 bp long and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and a control region. The arrangement is similar to that of typical Anseriform species. All protein-coding genes, except for Cyt b, ND5, COI, and COII, start with an ATG codon. The ATG start codon is also generally observed in the 12 other Anseriform species, including 2 Anser species, with sequenced mitochondrial genomes. TAA is the most frequent stop codon, one of three–TAA, TAG, and T- –commonly observed in Anseriformes. All tRNAs could be folded into canonical cloverleaf secondary structures except for tRNASer(AGY) and tRNALeu(CUN), which are missing the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm. The control region of Bean goose mtDNA, with some conserved sequence boxes, such as F, E, D, and C, identified in its central domain. Phylogenetic analysis of complete mtDNA data for 13 Anseriform species supports the classification of them into four major branches: Anatinae, Anserinae, Dendrocygninae and Anseranatidae. Phylogenetic analyses were also conducted on 36 Anseriform birds using combined Cyt b, ND2, and COI sequences. The results clearly support the genus Somateria as an independent lineage classified in its own tribe, the Somaterini. Recovered topologies from both complete mtDNA and combined DNA sequences strongly indicate that Dendrocygninae is an independent subfamily within the family Anatidae and Anseranatidae represents an independent family. Based on the results of this study, we conclude that combining ND2, Cyt b, and COI sequence data is a workable solution at present for resolving phylogenetic relationships among Anseriform species in the absence of sufficient complete mtDNA data.


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