Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 1943–1955 | Cite as

A comparative analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra (Carnivora; Mustelidae)

  • Jang-Seu Ki
  • Dae-Sik Hwang
  • Tae-Jin Park
  • Sang-Hoon Han
  • Jae-Seong Lee


Otter populations are declining throughout the world and most otter species are considered endangered. Molecular methods are suitable tools for population genetic research on endangered species. In the present study, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequence of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra. The mitochondrial DNA sequence of the Eurasian otter is 16,505 bp in length and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs, and a control region (CR). The CR sequence of otters from Europe and Asia showed nearly identical numbers and nucleotide sequences of minisatellites. Phylogenetic analysis of Mustelidae mitogenomes, including individual genes, revealed that Lutrinae and Mustelinae form a clade, and that L. lutra and Enhydra lutris are sister taxa within the Lutrinae. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that of the 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes, ND5 is the most reliable marker for analysis of phylogenetic relationships within the Mustelidae.


Mustelidae Eurasian otter Lutra lutra Mitochondrial genome Control region Minisatellite 



We thank Drs. Mi-Sook Min and Hang Lee (Seoul National University) for providing us with the tissue samples. We would also like to thank Dr. Hans-Uwe Dahms for critical reading of a preliminary version of this manuscript and English editing. This work was supported by the year-2008 grant titled “Origin of biological diversity of Korea: molecular phylogenetic analyses of major Korean taxa” funded by The National Institute of Biological Resources, Korean Government awarded to Jae-Seong Lee.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jang-Seu Ki
    • 1
  • Dae-Sik Hwang
    • 1
  • Tae-Jin Park
    • 1
  • Sang-Hoon Han
    • 2
  • Jae-Seong Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Environmental Bioscience, Graduate SchoolHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Division of Vertebrates ResearchNational Institute of Biological ResourcesIncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, College of Natural SciencesHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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