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Gene. 2007 Jun 1;394(1-2):69-77. Epub 2007 Feb 23.

The complete mitochondrial genome of the green lizard Lacerta viridis viridis (Reptilia: Lacertidae) and its phylogenetic position within squamate reptiles.

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University of Leipzig, Biology II, Molecular Evolution and Animal Systematics, Talstrasse 33, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


For the first time the complete mitochondrial genome was sequenced for a member of Lacertidae. Lacerta viridis viridis was sequenced in order to compare the phylogenetic relationships of this family to other reptilian lineages. Using the long-polymerase chain reaction (long PCR) we characterized a mitochondrial genome, 17,156 bp long showing a typical vertebrate pattern with 13 protein coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs (tRNA), two ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) and one major noncoding region. The noncoding region of L. v. viridis was characterized by a conspicuous 35 bp tandem repeat at its 5' terminus. A phylogenetic study including all currently available squamate mitochondrial sequences demonstrates the position of Lacertidae within a monophyletic squamate group. We obtained a narrow relationship of Lacertidae to Scincidae, Iguanidae, Varanidae, Anguidae, and Cordylidae. Although, the internal relationships within this group yielded only a weak resolution and low bootstrap support, the revealed relationships were more congruent with morphological studies than with recent molecular analyses.

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