ZooKeys (2021-01-01)

Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Lepus yarkandensis Günther, 1875 (Lagomorpha, Leporidae): characterization and phylogenetic analysis

  • Wenjuan Shan,
  • Mayinur Tursun,
  • Shiyu Zhou,
  • Yucong Zhang,
  • Huiying Dai

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1012
pp. 135 – 150


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Lepus yarkandensis is a national second-class protected animal endemic to China and distributed only in the hot and arid Tarim Basin in Xinjiang. We sequenced and described the complete mitogenome of L. yarkandensis to analyze its characteristics and phylogeny. The species’ DNA is a 17,047 bp circular molecule that includes 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and one control region. The overall base composition was as follows: A, 31.50%; T, 29.40%; G, 13.30% and C, 25.80%, with a high A+T bias of 60.9%. In the PCGs, ND6 had deviation ranges for AT skew (–0.303) and GC skew (0.636). The Ka/Ks values of ND1 (1.067) and ND6 (1.352) genes were >1, indicating positive selection, which might play an important role in the adaptation of L. yarkandensis to arid and hot environments. The conserved sequence block, the central conserved domain, and the extended termination-associated sequences of the control region and their features were identified and described. The phylogenetic tree based on the complete mitogenome showed that L. yarkandensis was closely related to the sympatric Lepus tibetanus pamirensis. These novel datasets of L. yarkandensis can supply basic data for phylogenetic studies of Lepus spp., apart from providing essential and important resource for further genetic research and the protection of this species.