A comparative analysis of mitochondrial genomes in Coleoptera (Arthropoda: Insecta) and genome descriptions of six new beetles. Academic Article uri icon


  • Coleoptera is the most diverse group of insects with over 360,000 described species divided into four suborders: Adephaga, Archostemata, Myxophaga, and Polyphaga. In this study, we present six new complete mitochondrial genome (mtgenome) descriptions, including a representative of each suborder, and analyze the evolution of mtgenomes from a comparative framework using all available coleopteran mtgenomes. We propose a modification of atypical cox1 start codons based on sequence alignment to better reflect the conservation observed across species as well as findings of TTG start codons in other genes. We also analyze tRNA-Ser(AGN) anticodons, usually GCU in arthropods, and report a conserved UCU anticodon as a possible synapomorphy across Polyphaga. We further analyze the secondary structure of tRNA-Ser(AGN) and present a consensus structure and an updated covariance model that allows tRNAscan-SE (via the COVE software package) to locate and fold these atypical tRNAs with much greater consistency. We also report secondary structure predictions for both rRNA genes based on conserved stems. All six species of beetle have the same gene order as the ancestral insect. We report noncoding DNA regions, including a small gap region of about 20 bp between tRNA-Ser(UCN) and nad1 that is present in all six genomes, and present results of a base composition analysis.

published proceedings

  • Mol Biol Evol

author list (cited authors)

  • Sheffield, N. C., Song, H., Cameron, S. L., & Whiting, M. F.

citation count

  • 196

complete list of authors

  • Sheffield, NC||Song, H||Cameron, SL||Whiting, MF

publication date

  • November 2008