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PeerJ. 2018 Jun 13;6:e5007. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5007. eCollection 2018.

Evaluating the utility of the female-specific mitochondrial f-orf gene for population genetic, phylogeographic and systematic studies in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionida).

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Canada.
2
Current affiliation:  Department of Biology, Life Science Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, United States of America.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, United States of America.
5
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Freshwater mussels (order: Unionida) represent one of the most critically imperilled groups of animals; consequently, there exists a need to establish a variety of molecular markers for population genetics and systematic studies in this group. Recently, two novel mitochondrial protein-coding genes were described in unionoids with doubly uniparental inheritance of mtDNA. These genes are the f-orf in female-transmitted mtDNA and the m-orf in male-transmitted mtDNA. In this study, whole F-type mitochondrial genome sequences of two morphologically similar Lampsilis spp. were compared to identify the most divergent protein-coding regions, including the f-orf gene, and evaluate its utility for population genetic and phylogeographic studies in the subfamily Ambleminae. We also tested whether the f-orf gene is phylogenetically informative at the species level. Our preliminary results indicated that the f-orf gene could represent a viable molecular marker for population- and species-level studies in freshwater mussels.

KEYWORDS:

Bivalvia; DNA barcode; Doubly uniparental inheritance of mtDNA; Freshwater mussels; Mitochondrial DNA; Molecular markers; Unionida

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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