Conservation Genetics Resources

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 351–355 | Cite as

The complete mitochondrial genome of the long-lived Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus): characterization and phylogenetic position

  • Aintzane SantaquiteriaEmail author
  • Julius Nielsen
  • Terje Klemetsen
  • Nils P. Willassen
  • Kim Præbel
Technical Note


The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) has recently been identified as the world’s longest-living vertebrate animal, which raises conservational concern in light of recently high bycatch. We report the complete mitochondrial genome of S. microcephalus to be 16,730 bp and composed by 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and a control region. The overall nucleotide composition was 30.8% A, 29.9% T, 14.5% G, and 24.9% C, with a total of 39.4% GC content. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the position of S. microcephalus in the traditional tree of sharks. The availability of the S. microcephalus mitogenome will contribute to further conservational genetic studies of a unique species, listed as ‘data deficient’ on the Norwegian Red List and ‘near threatened’ on the IUCN Red list.


Mitogenome Phylogeny Squaliformes Next generation sequencing 



We would like to thank Tanja L. Hanebrekke for the laboratory assistance and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources for providing the sample. We also thank the participants in the ‘Old and cold – Biology of the Greenland shark’ project and the TUNU-MAFIG program.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

Supplementary material

12686_2016_676_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (172 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 173 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aintzane Santaquiteria
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julius Nielsen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Terje Klemetsen
    • 3
  • Nils P. Willassen
    • 3
  • Kim Præbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceFaculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Marine Biological SectionUniversity of CopenhagenHelsingørDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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