Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 74, Issue 1–2, pp 81–95 | Cite as

Nucleotide Composition of CO1 Sequences in Chelicerata (Arthropoda): Detecting New Mitogenomic Rearrangements

  • Juliette Arabi
  • Mark L. I. Judson
  • Louis Deharveng
  • Wilson R. Lourenço
  • Corinne Cruaud
  • Alexandre HassaninEmail author


Here we study the evolution of nucleotide composition in third codon-positions of CO1 sequences of Chelicerata, using a phylogenetic framework, based on 180 taxa and three markers (CO1, 18S, and 28S rRNA; 5,218 nt). The analyses of nucleotide composition were also extended to all CO1 sequences of Chelicerata found in GenBank (1,701 taxa). The results show that most species of Chelicerata have a positive strand bias in CO1, i.e., in favor of C nucleotides, including all Amblypygi, Palpigradi, Ricinulei, Solifugae, Uropygi, and Xiphosura. However, several taxa show a negative strand bias, i.e., in favor of G nucleotides: all Scorpiones, Opisthothelae spiders and several taxa within Acari, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, and Pycnogonida. Several reversals of strand-specific bias can be attributed to either a rearrangement of the control region or an inversion of a fragment containing the CO1 gene. Key taxa for which sequencing of complete mitochondrial genomes will be necessary to determine the origin and nature of mtDNA rearrangements involved in the reversals are identified. Acari, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, and Pycnogonida were found to show a strong variability in nucleotide composition. In addition, both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes have been affected by higher substitution rates in Acari and Pseudoscorpiones. The results therefore indicate that these two orders are more liable to fix mutations of all types, including base substitutions, indels, and genomic rearrangements.


Chelicerata Mitochondrial genome Strand bias Rearrangements Inversion Control region Phylogeny 



We are grateful to the following colleagues who kindly provided samples and/or contributed to chelicerate identification: Michel Baylac, Michel Bertrand, Renaud Boistel, Magalie Castelin, Régis Cleva, Cyrille d’Haese, Arnaud Faille, Reinhard Gerecke, Clément Gilbert, Pedroso Giupponi, Ton van Haaren, Céline Houssin, Michaël Manuel, Patrick Maréchal, Bertrand Margat, Aurélien Miralles, Piotr Naskrecki, Eric Ollivier, Eric Quéinnec, Christine Rollard, Anne Ropiquet, Harry Smit, Christian Vanderbergh and Peter Weygoldt. We also thank members of the “Groupe d’Etude des Arachnides”, directed by Olivier Dupont, for their contribution to the sampling. This work was supported by the MNHN programs “Etat et Structure de la Biodiversité Actuelle et Fossile” and “Cordillère Annamitique”, and the “Consortium National de Recherche en Génomique”. It forms part of agreement no. 2005/67 between the Genoscope and the MNHN on the project “Macrophylogeny of life”, directed by Guillaume Lecointre.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliette Arabi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark L. I. Judson
    • 1
  • Louis Deharveng
    • 1
  • Wilson R. Lourenço
    • 1
  • Corinne Cruaud
    • 3
  • Alexandre Hassanin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Département Systématique et Evolution, UMR 7205, Origine, Structure et Evolution de la BiodiversitéMuséum national d’Histoire naturelleParisFrance
  2. 2.Département Systématique et Evolution, Service de Systématique MoléculaireMuséum national d’Histoire naturelleParisFrance
  3. 3.Centre National de SéquençageGenoscopeEvry CedexFrance

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