Comparative analyses of coding and noncoding DNA regions indicate that Acropora (Anthozoa: Scleractina) possesses a similar evolutionary tempo of nuclear vs. mitochondrial genomes as in plants

I. Ping Chen, Chung Yu Tang, Chih Yung Chiou, Jia Ho Hsu, Nuwei Vivian Wei, Carden C. Wallace, Paul Muir, Henry Wu, Chaolun Allen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence suggests that the mitochondrial (mt)DNA of anthozoans is evolving at a slower tempo than their nuclear DNA; however, parallel surveys of nuclear and mitochondrial variations and calibrated rates of both synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions across taxa are needed in order to support this scenario. We examined species of the scleractinian coral genus Acropora, including previously unstudied species, for molecular variations in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions of both nuclear and mt genomes. DNA sequences of a calmodulin (CaM)-encoding gene region containing three exons, two introns and a 411-bp mt intergenic spacer (IGS) spanning the cytochrome b (cytb) and NADH 2 genes, were obtained from 49 Acropora species. The molecular evolutionary rates of coding and noncoding regions in nuclear and mt genomes were compared in conjunction with published data, including mt cytochrome b, the control region, and nuclear Pax-C introns. Direct sequencing of the mtIGS revealed an average interspecific variation comparable to that seen in published data for mt cytb. The average interspecific variation of the nuclear genome was two to five times greater than that of the mt genome. Based on the calibration of the closure of Panama Isthmus (3.0 mya) and closure of the Tethy Seaway (12 mya), synonymous substitution rates ranged from 0.367% to 1.467% Ma -1 for nuclear CaM, which is about 4.8 times faster than those of mt cytb (0.076-0.303% Ma -1). This is similar to the findings in plant genomes that the nuclear genome is evolving at least five times faster than those of mitochondrial counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acropora
  • Calmodulin
  • Mitochondrial genes
  • Molecular evolution
  • Nuclear genes
  • Scleractinian corals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science

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