Mitochondrial gene rearrangements as phylogenetic characters in the invertebrates: the examination of genome 'morphology'
M. Dowton, L. R. Castro and A. D. Austin
16(3) 345 - 356
Published: 12 July 2002
Mitochondrial gene rearrangements are the latest tool in the arsenal of phylogeneticists for investigating historical relationships. They are complex molecular characters that may provide more reliable evidence of ancestry than comparative molecular data. Here we review the phylogenetic utility of mitochondrial gene rearrangements, and find that despite isolated incidences of convergence, derived gene order appears highly congruent with phylogenies produced from other sources of data. We calculate that the chance of two mitochondrial genomes sharing the same derived genome organisation is only 1/2664, but caution that this ignores the possibility that the (as yet uncharacterised) gene rearrangement mechanism may greatly increase the chance of convergence. Broader taxonomic surveys of mitochondrial genome organisation will lead to a more realistic indication of the historical incidence of convergence in genome organisation. Keywords: inversion, mitochondria, phylogeny, recombination, transfer RNA, translocation.
Full text doi:10.1071/IS02003
© CSIRO 2002