Variation in the whole mitogenome of reef-building Porites corals
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The study of complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) revealed different gene rearrangements, highly variable markers, and delineated clades that have aided the understanding of the evolutionary history in corals. In this study, we examined mitogenomic variation of reef-building Porites corals and designed 34 primer pairs to target high diversity regions and to amplify the complete mitogenome of a widely-distributed Indo-Pacific species of Porites (P. lobata) and two endemic species of the Eastern Pacific (P. sverdrupi and P. panamensis). All primer pairs amplified for each species and the mitogenomes assembled yielded the same gene order as obtained from next-generation sequencing. Mitogenomic variation in Porites corals was three to ten times higher than in Acropora or Pocillopora, two other major reef builders. In contrast to these corals, the nucleotide variation in Porites species was distributed evenly along the mitogenome. Primers designed here are useful to amplify regions with the highest variation possible as well as to assemble the whole mitogenomes of different Porites species. The resulting mitogenomes should improve our understanding of evolutionary relationships, delimitation of species, and conservation within the genus Porites.
KeywordsMitochondrial genome Porites corals Eastern Pacific Scleractinian corals
We thank Mario Cota and Rafael Cabral of CIBNOR, Cindy Fernández, Jaime Nivia, and Kimberly García of CIMAR, Universidad de Costa Rica for field assistance. Thanks to Sofia Méndez and Noemi Bocanegra for laboratory assistance, and Gustavo Gutiérrez and Andrea Chaves for the use of equipment in the Laboratorio de Genética de la Conservación, Universidad de Costa Rica. Funding was provided by CONACYT (Grant 157993) to EFB. Vicerrectoría de Investigación, Universidad de Costa Rica (Project 808-A5-073) and Ecodesarrollo Papagayo funded the collections in Costa Rica. DAPG is a recipient of CONACYT fellowship (250126).
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