Evolution of extensively fragmented mitochondrial genomes in the lice of humans

Shao, Renfu, Zhu, Xing-Quan, Barker, Stephen C. and Herd, Kate (2012) Evolution of extensively fragmented mitochondrial genomes in the lice of humans. Genome Biology and Evolution, 4 11: 1088-1101. doi:10.1093/gbe/evs088

Author Shao, Renfu
Zhu, Xing-Quan
Barker, Stephen C.
Herd, Kate
Total Author Count Override 4
Title Evolution of extensively fragmented mitochondrial genomes in the lice of humans
Journal name Genome Biology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1759-6653
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/gbe/evs088
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 11
Start page 1088
End page 1101
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Bilateral animals are featured by an extremely compact mitochondrial (mt) genome with 37 genes on a single circular chromosome. The human body louse, Pediculus humanus, however, has its mt genes on 20 minichromosomes. We sequenced the mt genomes of two other human lice: the head louse, P. capitis, and the pubic louse, Pthirus pubis. Comparison among the three human lice revealed the presence of fragmented mt genomes in their most recent common ancestor, which lived ∼7 Ma. The head louse has exactly the same set of mt minichromosomes as the body louse, indicating that the number of minichromosomes, and the gene content and gene arrangement in each minichromosome have remained unchanged since the body louse evolved from the head louse ∼107,000 years ago. The pubic louse has the same pattern of one protein-coding or rRNA gene per minichromosome (except one minichromosome with two protein-coding genes, atp6 and atp8) as the head louse and the body louse. This pattern is apparently ancestral to all human lice and has been stable for at least 7 Myr. Most tRNA genes of the pubic louse, however, are on different minichromosomes when compared with their counterparts in the head louse and the body louse. It is evident that rearrangement of four tRNA genes (for leucine, arginine and glycine) was due to gene-identity switch by point mutation at the third anticodon position or by homologous recombination, whereas rearrangement of other tRNA genes was by gene translocation between minichromosomes, likely caused by minichromosome split via gene degeneration and deletion.
Keyword Mitochondrial genome
Chromosome evolution
Genome fragmentation
Human lice
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
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