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Gene. 2007 Aug 1;397(1-2):76-83. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

The complete mitochondrial genome and phylogenetic analysis of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

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Key Laboratory of Bio-resources and Eco-environment (Ministry of Education), College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, PR China.


The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, was determined by the long and accurate polymerase chain reaction (LA-PCR) with conserved primers and primer walking sequence methods. The complete mitochondrial DNA is 16,805 nucleotides in length and contains two ribosomal RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and one control region. The total length of the 13 protein-coding genes is longer than the American black bear, brown bear and polar bear by 3 amino acids at the end of ND5 gene. The codon usage also followed the typical vertebrate pattern except for an unusual ATT start codon, which initiates the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) gene. The molecular phylogenetic analysis was performed on the sequences of 12 concatenated heavy-strand encoded protein-coding genes, and suggested that the giant panda is most closely related to bears.

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