The estuarine firefly, Pteroptyx tener, aggregates in the thousands in mangrove trees lining tidal rivers in Southeast Asia where they engage one another in a nocturnal, pre-mating ritual of synchronised courtship flashes. Unfortunately, populations of the species by virtue of being restricted to isolated estuarine rivers systems in the region, are at risk of genetic isolation. Because of this concern we undertook the task of sequencing and characterising the mitochondrial DNA genome of P. tener, as the first step towards helping us to characterise and better understand their genetic diversity. We sequenced and assembled the mitochondrial DNA genome of P. tener from two male and female specimens from the district of Kuala Selangor in Peninsular Malaysia and announce the molecules in this publication. We also reconstructed the phylogenetic trees of all available lampyrids mitogenomes and suggest the need to re-examine our current understanding of their classification which have largely been based on morphological data and the cox1 gene. Separately, our analysis of codon usage patterns among lampyrid mitogenomes showed that the codon usage in a majority of the protein-coding genes were non-neutral. Codon usage patterns between mitogenome sequences of P. tener were, however, largely neutral. Our findings demonstrate the usefulness of mitochondrial genes/mitogenomes for analysing both inter- and intra- specific variation in the Lampyridae to aid in species discovery in this highly variable genus; and elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of Pteroptyx spp. from the region.
Phylogenetic comparisons of the different mammalian genetic transmission elements (mtDNA, X-, Y-, and autosomal DNA) is a powerful approach for understanding the process of speciation in nature. Through such comparisons the unique inheritance pathways of each genetic element and gender-biased processes can link genomic structure to the evolutionary process, especially among lineages which have recently diversified, in which genetic isolation may be incomplete. Bulldog bats of the genus Noctilio are an exemplar lineage, being a young clade, widely distributed, and exhibiting unique feeding ecologies. In addition, currently recognized species are paraphyletic with respect to the mtDNA gene tree and contain morphologically identifiable clades that exhibit mtDNA divergences as great as among many species. To test taxonomic hypotheses and understand the contribution of hybridization to the extant distribution of genetic diversity in Noctilio, we used phylogenetic, coalescent stochastic modeling, and divergence time estimates using sequence data from cytochrome-b, cytochrome c oxidase-I, zinc finger Y, and zinc finger X, as well as evolutionary reconstructions based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) data. No evidence of ongoing hybridization between the two currently recognized species was identified. However, signatures of an ancient mtDNA capture were recovered in which an mtDNA lineage of one species was captured early in the noctilionid radiation. Among subspecific mtDNA clades, which were generally coincident with morphology and statistically definable as species, signatures of ongoing hybridization were observed in sex chromosome sequences and AFLP. Divergence dating of genetic elements corroborates the diversification of extant Noctilio beginning about 3 Ma, with ongoing hybridization between mitochondrial lineages separated by 2.5 myr. The timeframe of species' divergence within Noctilio supports the hypothesis that shifts in the dietary strategies of gleaning insects (N. albiventris) or fish (N. leporinus) are among the most rapid instances of dietary evolution observed in mammals. This study illustrates the complex evolutionary dynamics shaping gene pools in nature, how comparisons of genetic elements can serve for understanding species boundaries, and the complex considerations for accurate taxonomic assignment.
Invasive snails in the genus Pomacea have spread across Southeast Asia including Peninsular Malaysia. Their effects on natural and agricultural wetlands are appreciable, but species-specific effects are less clear because of morphological similarity among the species. Our objective was to establish diagnostic characteristics of Pomacea species in Malaysia using genetic and morphological criteria. The mitochondrial COI gene of 52 adult snails from eight localities in Peninsular Malaysia was amplified, sequenced, and analysed to verify species and phylogenetic relationships. Shells were compared using geometric morphometric and covariance analyses. Two monophyletic taxa, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, occurred in our samples. The mean ratio of shell height: aperture height (P = 0.042) and shell height: shell width (P = 0.007) was smaller in P. maculata. P. maculata co-occurred with P. canaliculata in five localities, but samples from three localities contained only P. canaliculata. This study is the first to confirm the presence of two of the most invasive species of Pomacea in Peninsular Malaysia using a molecular technique. P. canaliculata appears to be the more widespread species. Despite statistical differences, both quantitative and qualitative morphological characteristics demonstrated much interspecific overlap and intraspecific variability; thus, shell morphology alone cannot reliably verify species identity. Molecular techniques for distinguishing between these two highly invasive Pomacea species are needed to understand their specific ecological niches and to develop effective protocols for their management.
The true mahseer (Tor spp.) is one of the highest valued fish in the world due to its high nutritional value and great unique taste. Nevertheless, its morphological characterization and single mitochondrial gene phylogeny in the past had yet to resolve the ambiguity in its taxonomical classification. In this study, we sequenced and assembled 11 complete mahseer mitogenomes collected from Java of Indonesia, Pahang and Terengganu of Peninsular Malaysia as well as Sarawak of East Malaysia. The mitogenome evolutionary relationships among closely related Tor spp. samples were investigated based on maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree construction. Compared to the commonly used COX1 gene fragment, the complete COX1, Cytb, ND2, ND4 and ND5 genes appear to be better phylogenetic markers for genetic differentiation at the population level. In addition, a total of six population-specific mitolineage haplotypes were identified among the mahseer samples analyzed, which this offers hints towards its taxonomical landscape.
We sequenced and annotated the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of Bactrocera diaphora (Diptera: Tephtitidae), which is an economically important pest in the southwest area of China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Malaysia. This mitogenome is 15 890 bp in length with an A + T content of 74.103%, and contains 37 typical animal mitochondrial genes that are arranged in the same order as that of the inferred ancestral insects. All protein-coding genes (PCGs) start with a typical ATN codon, except cox1 that begins with TCG. Ten PCGs stop with termination codon TAA or TAG, whereas cox1, nad1 and nad5 have single T-- as the incomplete stop codon. All of the transfer RNA genes present the typical clover leaf secondary structure except trnS1 (AGN) with a looping D-arm. The A + T-rich region is located between rrnS and trnI with a length of 946 bp, and contains a 20 bp poly-T stretch and 22 bp poly-A stretch. Except the control region, the longest intergenic spacer is located between trnR and trnN that is 94 bp long with an excessive high A + T content (95.74%) and a microsatellite-like region (TA)13.