Evolutionary shifts in three major structural features of the mitochondrial genome among iguanian lizards

J. Robert Macey, Allan Larson, Natalia B. Ananjeva, Theodore J. Papenfuss

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221 Scopus citations

Abstract

A phylogenetic tree for major lineages of iguanian lizards is estimated from 1,488 aligned base positions (858 informative) of newly reported mitochondrial DNA sequences representing coding regions for eight tRNAs, ND2, and portions of ND1 and COI. Two well-supported groups are defined, the Acrodonta and the Iguanidae (sensu lato). This phylogenetic hypothesis is used to investigate evolutionary shifts in mitochondrial gene order, origin for light-strand replication, and secondary structure of tRNA(Cys). These three characters shift together on the branch leading to acrodont lizards. Plate tectonics and the fossil record indicate that these characters changed in the Jurassic. We propose that changes to the secondary structure of tRNA(Cys) may destroy function of the origin for light-strand replication which, in turn, may facilitate shifts in gene order.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-674
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Cystein transfer RNA
  • Gene organization
  • Iguania
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Phylogenetics
  • Reptilia
  • Sauria

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