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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2002;96(1-4):217-22.

Fission or fusion? Mitochondrial DNA phylogenetics of the chromosome races of Hemideina crassidens (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae).

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The weta Hemideina crassidens has two chromosomal races that differ by two centric fusions or fissions. The mitochondrial DNA of weta from both chromosomal races and a sister species were sequenced for a 750-bp region of the gene coding for cytochrome oxidase I. The average pairwise genetic distance among the 15 (XO)-chromosome race weta was almost four times greater than the average distance among the 19 (XO)-chromosome race weta. The weta from the 19-chromosome race formed a well-supported monophyletic clade in all shortest maximum parsimony trees. Maximum likelihood and neighbor-joining trees suggested that the 15-chromosome karyotype was paraphyletic with respect to the 19-chromosome karyotype, but this was not supported by maximum parsimony analyses. Although phylogenetic analysis could not exclude chromosome fusion as the rearrangement responsible for the karyotype differentiation, the level of sequence variation and pattern of distribution appear to implicate fission as the more likely event.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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