The beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas (Mammalia: Cetacea: Monodontidae) is a small, toothed, Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean threatened by human activities and environmental contamination. Herein, we report the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of D. leucas, comprising 16,386 bp encoding the typical set of 37 mitochondrial genes, one replication origin, and a putative control region. It exhibits the classic vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement and demonstrated the highest similarity with the mitochondrial genome of the narwhal Monodon monoceros, a member of the only other extant genus in the Monodontidae family. Phylogenetic analysis using the 35 available Odontoceti (toothed whale) mitochondrial genomes clustered D. leucas with M. monoceros, with a tree topology that accorded well with traditional and recent molecular taxonomies. These data will provide information fundamental to conservation genetic studies of this endangered Arctic whale.
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This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2014R1A2A1A11050093), and by Grants from the KRIBB Initiative program (Grant No. KGM4691612) and Global Frontier Program through the NRF, funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (Grant No. 2015M3A6B2063544).
This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2014R1A2A1A11050093), and by grants from the KRIBB Initiative program (Grant No. KGM4691612) and Global Frontier Program through the NRF, funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (Grant No. 2015M3A6B2063544).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ji Hyung Kim and Young-Ran Lee have contributed equally to this work.
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Kim, J.H., Lee, YR., Koh, JR. et al. Complete mitochondrial genome of the beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas (Cetacea: Monodontidae). Conservation Genet Resour 9, 435–438 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12686-017-0705-5