SEIJO Jose guillermo
Structure and comparative analysis of the mitochondrial genomes of Liolaemus lizards with different modes of reproduction and ploidy levels
VALDES, JULIAN; SAMOLUK, SERGIO SEBASTIAN; ABDALA, CRISTIAN SIMÓN; BALDO, DIEGO; SEIJO, GUILLERMO
Año: 2021 vol. 9
Liolaemus is the most specious genus of the Squamata lizards in South America, presenting exceptional evolutionary radiation and speciation patterns. This recent diversification complicates the formal taxonomic treatment and the phylogenetic analyses of this group, causing relationships among species to remain controversial. Here we used Next-Generation Sequencing to do a comparative analysis of the structure and organization of the complete mitochondrial genomes of three differently related species of Liolaemus and with different reproductive strategies and ploidy levels. The annotated mitochondrial genomes of ca. 17 kb are the first for the Liolaemidae family. Despite the high levels of sequence similarity among the three mitochondrial genomes over most of their lengths, the comparative analyses revealed variations at the stop codons of the protein coding genes and the structure of the tRNAs among species. The presence of a non-canonical dihydrouridine loop is a novelty for the pleurodonts iguanians. But the highest level of variability was observed in two repetitive sequences of the control region, which were responsible for most of the length heterogeneity of the mitochondrial genomes. These tandem repeats may be useful markers to analyze relationships of closely related species of Liolaemus and related genera and to conduct population and phylogenetic studies.