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Anim Genet. 2001 Dec;32(6):380-5.

Complete sequence of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) mitochondrial genome and its genetic relationship with related species.

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Genome Research Department, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


The Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica; JQ) is one of the domesticated fowl species of Japan. To provide DNA sequence information for examination of its phylogenetic position in the order Galliformes, the complete sequence of the JQ mitochondria was determined. Sequence analysis revealed that the JQ mitochondrial genome is a circular DNA of 16 697 basepairs (bp), which is smaller than the chicken mitochondrial DNA of 16 775 bp, but the genomic structure of JQ mitochondria was the same as that of the chicken. The sequence homologies of all mitochondrial genes including those for 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), between Japanese quail and chicken ranged from 78.0 to 89.9%. Because the sequences of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 and cytochrome b genes had been reported in five species [Phasianus colchicus (ring-neck pheasant: RP), Gallus gallus domesticus (chicken: CH), Perdix perdix (grey partridge: GP), Bambusicola thoracia (Chinese bamboo partridge: CP), and Aythya americana (redhead: RH)], the concatenated nucleotide sequences (2184 bp) and amino acid sequences of these two genes were used in a phylogenetic analysis of JQ against these five species using a maximum likelihood (ML) method. Using the first and second bases of the codons, and the third base of the codons indicated a phylogenic tree of [RH, (RP, GP), (JQ, (CH, CP))]. A phylogenic tree of [RH, JQ, (RP, GP), (CH, CP)] was determined using amino acid sequences. Because the local bootstrap values for the JQ branch in these trees are not high, additional sequence is necessary for construction of a reliable tree.

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