Title: The role of selection in the evolution of marine turtles mitogenomes
Author: Ramos, E. K. S.; Freitas, L.A.; Nery, M. F.
Is part of: Scientific Reports, v. 10, p. 16953 - 16953
Citation: Ramos, E. K. S.; Freitas, L.A.; Nery, M. F.; The role of selection in the evolution of marine turtles mitogenomes. Scientific Reports, v.10, p. 16953-16953, 2020
Abstract: Sea turtles are the only extant chelonian representatives that inhabit the marine environment. One key to successful colonization of this habitat is the adaptation to different energetic demands. Such energetic requirement is intrinsically related to the mitochondrial ability to generate energy through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) process. Here, we estimated Testudines phylogenetic relationships from 90 complete chelonian mitochondrial genomes and tested the adaptive evolution of 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes of sea turtles to determine how natural selection shaped mitochondrial genes of the Chelonioidea clade. Complete mitogenomes showed strong support and resolution, differing at the position of the Chelonioidea clade in comparison to the turtle phylogeny based on nuclear genomic data. Codon models retrieved a relatively increased dN/dS (omega) on three OXPHOS genes for sea turtle lineages. Also, we found evidence of positive selection on at least three codon positions, encoded by NADH dehydrogenase genes (ND4 and ND5). The accelerated evolutionary rates found for sea turtles on COX2, ND1 and CYTB and the molecular footprints of positive selection found on ND4 and ND5 genes may be related to mitochondrial molecular adaptation to stress likely resulted from a more active lifestyle in sea turtles. Our study provides insight into the adaptive evolution of the mtDNA genome in sea turtles and its implications for the molecular mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation.
Funding: This study was partially funded by the Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior-Brasil (CAPES)-Finance Code 001 and FAPESP (2015/18269-1 and 2018/01236-1). LF was funded by FAPESP postdoctoral scholarship (2017/25058-2). We are grateful for the scientists that made available the mitogenome sequences used in this study.