BioSpace Collaborative

Academic/Biomedical Research
News & Jobs
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Channel Medical Device and Diagnostics Channel Clinical Research Channel BioSpace Collaborative    Job Seekers:  Register | Login          Employers:  Register | Login  

Free Newsletters
My Subscriptions

News by Subject
News by Disease
News by Date
Search News
Post Your News

Job Seeker Login
Most Recent Jobs
Search Jobs
Post Resume
Career Fairs
Career Resources
For Employers

Regional News
US & Canada
  Biotech Bay
  Biotech Beach
  Pharm Country
  Bio NC
  Southern Pharm
  BioCanada East
  C2C Services & Suppliers™


Company Profiles

Research Store

Research Events
Post an Event
Real Estate
Business Opportunities

PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Contrasting Evolutionary Dynamics and Information Content of the Avian Mitochondrial Control Region and ND2 Gene
Published: Friday, October 05, 2012
Author: F. Keith Barker et al.

by F. Keith Barker, Mariah K. Benesh, Arion J. Vandergon, Scott M. Lanyon

Mitochondrial DNA is an important tool for inference of population history in animals. A variety of mitochondrial loci have been sampled for this purpose, but many studies focus on the non-coding D-loop or control region (CR), which in at least some species appears hypermutable. Unfortunately, analyses of this region are sometimes complicated by segmental duplications, as well as by difficulties in sequencing through repeat expansions, driving many researchers to favor single-copy protein-coding or ribosomal RNA genes. Without systematic comparison, it is unclear if, how much, and what sort of information might be lost by focusing on coding regions, or conversely whether such regions might offer significant advantages over the CR. In this study, we compare the information content, both in terms of genealogy and tests of neutral equilibrium, of the mitochondrial CR and protein-coding ND2 gene of the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) and its close relative the tricolored blackbird (A. tricolor). Both gene regions violate the standard infinite sites assumption central to moment-based population genetic inference, as well as exhibiting considerable among-site rate heterogeneity, obscuring significant departures from neutral equilibrium. Given the ubiquity of rate heterogeneity in mtDNA, use of more sophisticated tests that account for this should be obligatory. The two regions yield quite similar genealogical reconstructions, as well as indicating similar departures from neutral equilibrium assumptions for A. phoeniceus. However, individual Sanger-read-length fragments (~600 bases) of the CR have significantly higher information content than comparable fragments of ND2, suggesting that limited sampling of the mitochondrial genome should focus on the CR.