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Insight into the adaptive evolution of mitochondrial genomes in intertidal chitons
D. Dhar, D. Dey, , H. Fortunato
Published in Oxford University Press
Volume: 87
Issue: 2
The intertidal zone is one of the most stressful environments, with extreme shifts in temperature, salinity, pH and oxygen concentration. Marine molluscs, particularly chitons that belong to the category of ecologically significant organisms, survive in this extreme environment, and are ideal systems for studying stress adaptation. Mitochondria are known to be critical for energy homeostasis, and changes in environmental factors result in their dysfunction and consequent injury to the organism. Intertidal organisms are exception in this respect because they are capable of maintaining mitochondrial integrity. Here, we used mitochondrial genetic components from seven chitons of the intertidal zone to infer phylogenetic relationships. Selection analyses on individual protein-coding genes (PCGs) were performed to identify and map potentially adaptive residues in the modelled structures of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes. The results showed significant amino acid changes in sites under diversifying selection for all the PCGs, indicating that the mitochondrial genome in chitons is undergoing adaptive evolution. Such sites were observed in the proton pump as well as in the translocation channel of the transmembrane helices and the surrounding loop regions, thus implying functional modification of the mitochondrial proteins essential for survival in the dynamic environment of the intertidal zone. © 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Malacological Society of London.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetJournal of Molluscan Studies
PublisherData powered by TypesetOxford University Press