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  1. Froufe E, Gan HM, Lee YP, Carneiro J, Varandas S, Teixeira A, et al.
    PMID: 27158872 DOI: 10.3109/19401736.2015.1074223
    Freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae exhibit a particular form of mitochondria inheritance called double uniparental inheritance (DUI), in which the mitochondria are inherited by both male and female parents. The (M)ale and (F)emale mitogenomes are highly divergent within species. In the present study, we determine and describe the complete M and F mitogenomes of the Endangered freshwater mussel Potomida littoralis (Cuvier, 1798). The complete M and F mitogenomes sequences are 16 451 bp and 15 787 bp in length, respectively. Both F and M have the same gene content: 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (trn) and 2 ribosomal RNA (rrn) genes. Bayesian analyses based on the concatenated nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs and 2 rrn genes of both genomes, including mitogenome sequences available from related species, were performed. Male and Female lineages are monophyletic within the family, but reveal distinct phylogenetic relationships.
  2. Zieritz A, Lopes-Lima M, Bogan AE, Sousa R, Walton S, Rahim KA, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2016 Nov 15;571:1069-78.
    PMID: 27473771 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.098
    Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia, Unionida) fulfil important ecosystem functions and are one of the most threatened freshwater taxa globally. Knowledge of freshwater mussel diversity, distribution and ecology in Peninsular Malaysia is extremely poor, and the conservation status of half of the species presumed to occur in the region has yet to be assessed. We conducted the first comprehensive assessment of Peninsular Malaysia's freshwater mussels based on species presence/absence and environmental data collected from 155 sites spanning all major river catchments and diverse habitat types. Through an integrative morphological-molecular approach we recognised nine native and one widespread non-native species, i.e. Sinanodonta woodiana. Two species, i.e. Pilsbryoconcha compressa and Pseudodon cambodjensis, had not been previously recorded from Malaysia, which is likely a result of morphological misidentifications of historical records. Due to their restriction to single river catchments and declining distributions, Hyriopsis bialata, possibly endemic to Peninsular Malaysia, Ensidens ingallsianus, possibly already extinct in the peninsula, and Rectidens sumatrensis, particularly require conservation attention. Equally, the Pahang, the Perak and the north-western river catchments are of particular conservation value due to the presence of a globally unique freshwater mussel fauna. Statistical relationships of 15 water quality parameters and mussel presence/absence identified acidification and nutrient pollution (eutrophication) as the most important anthropogenic factors threatening freshwater mussel diversity in Peninsular Malaysia. These factors can be linked to atmospheric pollution, deforestation, oil-palm plantations and a lack of functioning waste water treatment, and could be mitigated by establishing riparian buffers and improving waste water treatment for rivers running through agricultural and residential land.
  3. Lopes-Lima M, Froufe E, Do VT, Ghamizi M, Mock KE, Kebapçı Ü, et al.
    Mol Phylogenet Evol, 2017 01;106:174-191.
    PMID: 27621130 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.08.021
    Freshwater mussels of the order Unionida are key elements of freshwater habitats and are responsible for important ecological functions and services. Unfortunately, these bivalves are among the most threatened freshwater taxa in the world. However, conservation planning and management are hindered by taxonomic problems and a lack of detailed ecological data. This highlights the urgent need for advances in the areas of systematics and evolutionary relationships within the Unionida. This study presents the most comprehensive phylogeny to date of the larger Unionida family, i.e., the Unionidae. The phylogeny is based on a combined dataset of 1032bp (COI+28S) of 70 species in 46 genera, with 7 of this genera being sequenced for the first time. The resulting phylogeny divided the Unionidae into 6 supported subfamilies and 18 tribes, three of which are here named for the first time (i.e., Chamberlainiini nomen novum, Cristariini nomen novum and Lanceolariini nomen novum). Molecular analyses were complemented by investigations of selected morphological, anatomical and behavioral characters used in traditional phylogenetic studies. No single morphological, anatomical or behavioral character was diagnostic at the subfamily level and few were useful at the tribe level. However, within subfamilies, many tribes can be recognized based on a subset of these characters. The geographical distribution of each of the subfamilies and tribes is also presented. The present study provides important advances in the systematics of these extraordinary taxa with implications for future ecological and conservation studies.
  4. Lopes-Lima M, Bolotov IN, Do VT, Aldridge DC, Fonseca MM, Gan HM, et al.
    Mol Phylogenet Evol, 2018 10;127:98-118.
    PMID: 29729933 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.041
    Two Unionida (freshwater mussel) families are present in the Northern Hemisphere; the Margaritiferidae, representing the most threatened of unionid families, and the Unionidae, which include several genera of unresolved taxonomic placement. The recent reassignment of the poorly studied Lamprotula rochechouartii from the Unionidae to the Margaritiferidae motivated a new search for other potential species of margaritiferids from members of Gibbosula and Lamprotula. Based on molecular and morphological analyses conducted on newly collected specimens from Vietnam, we here assign Gibbosula crassa to the Margaritiferidae. Additionally, we reanalyzed all diagnostic characteristics of the Margaritiferidae and examined museum specimens of Lamprotula and Gibbosula. As a result, two additional species are also moved to the Margaritiferidae, i.e. Gibbosula confragosa and Gibbosula polysticta. We performed a robust five marker phylogeny with all available margaritiferid species and discuss the taxonomy within the family. The present phylogeny reveals the division of Margaritiferidae into four ancient clades with distinct morphological, biogeographical and ecological characteristics that justify the division of the Margaritiferidae into two subfamilies (Gibbosulinae and Margaritiferinae) and four genera (Gibbosula, Cumberlandia, Margaritifera, and Pseudunio). The systematics of the Margaritiferidae family is re-defined as well as their distribution, potential origin and main biogeographic patterns.
  5. Froufe E, Bolotov I, Aldridge DC, Bogan AE, Breton S, Gan HM, et al.
    Heredity (Edinb), 2020 01;124(1):182-196.
    PMID: 31201385 DOI: 10.1038/s41437-019-0242-y
    Using a new fossil-calibrated mitogenome-based approach, we identified macroevolutionary shifts in mitochondrial gene order among the freshwater mussels (Unionoidea). We show that the early Mesozoic divergence of the two Unionoidea clades, Margaritiferidae and Unionidae, was accompanied by a synchronous split in the gene arrangement in the female mitogenome (i.e., gene orders MF1 and UF1). Our results suggest that this macroevolutionary jump was completed within a relatively short time interval (95% HPD 201-226 Ma) that coincided with the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction. Both gene orders have persisted within these clades for ~200 Ma. The monophyly of the so-called "problematic" Gonideinae taxa was supported by all the inferred phylogenies in this study using, for the first time, the M- and F-type mitogenomes either singly or combined. Within Gonideinae, two additional splits in the gene order (UF1 to UF2, UF2 to UF3) occurred in the Mesozoic and have persisted for ~150 and ~100 Ma, respectively. Finally, the mitogenomic results suggest ancient connections between freshwater basins of East Asia and Europe near the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, probably via a continuous paleo-river system or along the Tethys coastal line, which are well supported by at least three independent but almost synchronous divergence events.
  6. Gomes-Dos-Santos A, Lopes-Lima M, Machado AM, Marcos Ramos A, Usié A, Bolotov IN, et al.
    DNA Res, 2021 May 02;28(2).
    PMID: 33755103 DOI: 10.1093/dnares/dsab002
    Since historical times, the inherent human fascination with pearls turned the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera (Linnaeus, 1758) into a highly valuable cultural and economic resource. Although pearl harvesting in M. margaritifera is nowadays residual, other human threats have aggravated the species conservation status, especially in Europe. This mussel presents a myriad of rare biological features, e.g. high longevity coupled with low senescence and Doubly Uniparental Inheritance of mitochondrial DNA, for which the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly known. Here, the first draft genome assembly of M. margaritifera was produced using a combination of Illumina Paired-end and Mate-pair approaches. The genome assembly was 2.4 Gb long, possessing 105,185 scaffolds and a scaffold N50 length of 288,726 bp. The ab initio gene prediction allowed the identification of 35,119 protein-coding genes. This genome represents an essential resource for studying this species' unique biological and evolutionary features and ultimately will help to develop new tools to promote its conservation.
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