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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2012 Oct;65(1):323-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.06.011. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

Novel organization of the mitochondrial genome in the deep-sea coral, Madrepora oculata (Hexacorallia, Scleractinia, Oculinidae) and its taxonomic implications.

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  • 1Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nangang, Taipei 115, Taiwan.


Madrepora is one of the most ecologically important genera of reef-building scleractinians in the deep sea, occurring from tropical to high-latitude regions. Despite this, the taxonomic affinities and relationships within the genus Madrepora remain unclear. To clarify these issues, we sequenced the mitochondrial (mt) genome of the most widespread Madrepora species, M. oculata, and compared this with data for other scleractinians. The architecture of the M. oculata mt genome was very similar to that of other scleractinians, except for a novel gene rearrangement affecting only cox2 and cox3. This pattern of gene organization was common to four geographically distinct M. oculata individuals as well as the congeneric species M. minutiseptum, but was not shared by other genera that are closely related on the basis of cox1 sequence analysis nor other oculinids, suggesting that it might be unique to Madrepora.

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