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  • Mitochondrial genome annotation and phylogenetic placement of Oreochromis andersonii and O. macrochir among the cichlids of southern Africa

    Bbole, Ian   Zhao, Jin-Liang   Tang, Shou-Jie   Katongo, Cyprian   Ruggeri, Paolo  

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  • Mitochondrial genome annotation and phylogenetic placement of Oreochromis andersonii and O. macrochir among the cichlids of southern Africa.

    Bbole, Ian   Zhao, Jin-Liang   Tang, Shou-Jie   Katongo, Cyprian  

    Genetic characterization of southern African cichlids has not received much attention. Here, we describe the mitogenome sequences and phylogenetic positioning of Oreochromis andersonii and O. macrochir among the African cichlids. The complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were determined for O. andersonii and O. macrochir, two important aquaculture and fisheries species endemic to southern Africa. The complete mitogenome sequence lengths were 16642 bp and 16644 bp for O. andersonii and O. macrochir respectively. The general structural organization follows that of other teleost species with 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and a non-coding control region. Phylogenetic placement of the two species among other African cichlids was performed using Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian Markov-Chain-Monte-Carlo (MCMC). The consensus trees confirmed the relative positions of the two cichlid species with O. andersonii being very closely related to O. mossambicus and O. macrochir showing a close relation to both species. Among the 13 mitochondrial DNA protein coding genes ND6 may have evolved more rapidly and COIII was the most conserved. There are signs that ND6 may have been subjected to positive selection in order for these cichlid lineages to diversify and adapt to new environments. More work is needed to characterize the southern Africa cichlids as they are important species for capture fisheries, aquaculture development and understanding biogeographic history of African cichlids. Bio-conservation of some endangered cichlids is also essential due to the threat by invasive species.=20
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