Among invertebrates, only a few groups still have uncertain phylogenetic position, Orthonectida, a small group of rare multi-cellular parasites of marine invertebrates, being one of them. Recent molecular and morphological findings suggest that orthonectids belong to Lophotrochozoa and are close to Annelida. Nevertheless, phylogenetic relationships between orthonectids and annelids are unclear, and the phylogeny within the group itself has never been studied. Sequencing of mitochondrial genomes is used here to clarify this issue. Complete mt genomes of the orthonectids Intoshia variabili and Rhopalura litoralis were characterized and compared with Intoshia linei mt genome. Our results show that Orthonectida mt genomes have undergone reduction and gene loss, and that they have complicated organization revealed in strand asymmetry in nucleotide composition, in some features of intergenic non-coding regions, tRNA duplication and folding. Moreover, all species of Orthonectida have a unique gene order with complicated rearrangement landscape. Significant differences in mitochondrial genomes in the three orthonectid species could be explained by the fact that their host species belong to different taxa (flat worms, nemertines and gastropods). Among the analyzed mt genomes of Orthonectida, I. linei possesses the closest gene order to the ancestral genome. All Orthonectida species are monophyletic, and in the phylogenetic tree are close to Pleistoannelida, and specifically, to Clitellata.
Предметные области Scopus
- Молекулярная биология