JOURNAL ARTICLE

The complete mitochondrial genome of the fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

Fang Liao, Lin Wang, Song Wu, Yu-Ping Li, Lei Zhao, Guo-Ming Huang, Chun-Jing Niu, Yan-Qun Liu, Ming-Gang Li
International Journal of Biological Sciences 2010, 6 (2): 172-86
20376208
The complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) was determined. The genome is a circular molecule 15 481 bp long. It presents a typical gene organization and order for completely sequenced lepidopteran mitogenomes, but differs from the insect ancestral type for the placement of tRNA(Met). The nucleotide composition of the genome is also highly A + T biased, accounting for 80.38%, with a slightly positive AT skewness (0.010), indicating the occurrence of more As than Ts, as found in the Noctuoidea species. All protein-coding genes (PCGs) are initiated by ATN codons, except for COI, which is tentatively designated by the CGA codon as observed in other lepidopterans. Four of 13 PCGs harbor the incomplete termination codon, T or TA. All tRNAs have a typical clover-leaf structure of mitochondrial tRNAs, except for tRNA(Ser)(AGN), the DHU arm of which could not form a stable stem-loop structure. The intergenic spacer sequence between tRNA(Ser)(AGN) and ND1 also contains the ATACTAA motif, which is conserved across the Lepidoptera order. The H. cunea A+T-rich region of 357 bp is comprised of non-repetitive sequences, but harbors several features common to the Lepidoptera insects, including the motif ATAGA followed by an 18 bp poly-T stretch, a microsatellite-like (AT)(8) element preceded by the ATTTA motif, an 11 bp poly-A present immediately upstream tRNA(Met). The phylogenetic analyses support the view that the H. cunea is closerly related to the Lymantria dispar than Ochrogaster lunifer, and support the hypothesis that Noctuoidea (H. cunea, L. dispar, and O. lunifer) and Geometroidea (Phthonandria atrilineata) are monophyletic. However, in the phylogenetic trees based on mitogenome sequences among the lepidopteran superfamilies, Papillonoidea (Artogeia melete, Acraea issoria, and Coreana raphaelis) joined basally within the monophyly of Lepidoptera, which is different to the traditional classification.

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