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.
DNA identification of blow fly species can be a very useful tool in forensic entomology. One of the potential benefits that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has offered in the field of forensic entomology is species determination. Conventional identification methods have limitations for sibling and closely related species of blow fly and stage and quality of the specimen used. This could be overcome by DNA-based identification methods using mitochondrial DNA which does not demand intact or undamaged specimens. Mitochondrial DNA is usually isolated from whole blow fly and legs. Alternate sources for mitochondrial DNA isolation namely, egg, larva, puparium and empty puparium were explored in this study. The sequence of DNA obtained for each sample for every life cycle stage was 100% identical for a particular species, indicating that the egg, 1st instar, 2nd instar, 3rd instar, pupa, empty puparium and adult from the same species and obtained from same generation will exhibit similar DNA sequences. The present study also highlighted the usefulness of collecting all life cycle stages of blow fly during crime scene investigation with proper preservation and subsequent molecular analysis. Molecular identification provides a strong basis for species identification and will prove an invaluable contribution to forensic entomology as an investigative tool in Malaysia.
A morphological and molecular analysis was undertaken with the objective of identifying markers for geographical populations of Old World screwworm flies, Chrysomya bezziana Villeneuve (Diptera: Calliphoridae). The morphological analysis involved 192 adult flies from 14 countries, and the molecular analysis involved 45 larvae or adults from 14 populations in 11 countries. Principal components and cluster analysis of 10 morphological characters indicated that flies from Papua New Guinea (PNG) were a distinct group and most similar to flies from nearby Asian islands (Java, Sabah). There was poor resolution of other geographical regions, but some support for clustering of flies from Africa or India. Cladistic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences gave strong support for recognizing two races of Old World screwworm, one from sub-Saharan Africa and the other from the Gulf region and Asia. This latter race could be further divided into two lineages, i.e. one from mainland Asia (from Iraq to the Malay Peninsula) and the other from two islands of PNG.
This study describes the organization of the repetitive pattern in the mtDNA control region of Tomistoma schlegelii. Using newly designed primers, we detected length variations of approximately 50-100 bp among individuals, and only one individual showed a heteroplasmic band. Sequencing the region after CSB III revealed two main patterns: a repeat motif and a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) pattern. The VNTR region, with a core unit of 104 bp, consisting of four motifs and a short AT chain, is implicated in the length variation seen among individuals of Tomistoma. A conserved motif seen in a family unit indicated that the repeat pattern was stably inherited from the maternal parent to all offspring. A combination of VNTR patterns specific to different crocodilians was seen in Tomistoma, and the overall secondary structure was shown to be similar to that in Crocodylus and Gavialis.
Plasmodium knowlesi, a malaria parasite originally thought to be restricted to macaques in Southeast Asia, has recently been recognized as a significant cause of human malaria. Unlike the benign and morphologically similar P. malariae, these parasites can lead to fatal infections. Malaria parasites, including P. knowlesi, have not yet been detected in macaques of the Kapit Division of Malaysian Borneo, where the majority of human knowlesi malaria cases have been reported. In order to extend our understanding of the epidemiology and evolutionary history of P. knowlesi, we examined 108 wild macaques for malaria parasites and sequenced the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene and mitochondrial (mt) DNA of P. knowlesi isolates derived from macaques and humans. We detected five species of Plasmodium (P. knowlesi, P. inui, P. cynomolgi, P. fieldi and P. coatneyi) in the long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, and an extremely high prevalence of P. inui and P. knowlesi. Macaques had a higher number of P. knowlesi genotypes per infection than humans, and some diverse alleles of the P. knowlesi csp gene and certain mtDNA haplotypes were shared between both hosts. Analyses of DNA sequence data indicate that there are no mtDNA lineages associated exclusively with either host. Furthermore, our analyses of the mtDNA data reveal that P. knowlesi is derived from an ancestral parasite population that existed prior to human settlement in Southeast Asia, and underwent significant population expansion approximately 30,000-40,000 years ago. Our results indicate that human infections with P. knowlesi are not newly emergent in Southeast Asia and that knowlesi malaria is primarily a zoonosis with wild macaques as the reservoir hosts. However, ongoing ecological changes resulting from deforestation, with an associated increase in the human population, could enable this pathogenic species of Plasmodium to switch to humans as the preferred host.