Bondareva, O.; Genelt-Yanovskiy, E.; Petrova, T.; Bodrov, S.; Smorkatcheva, A.; Abramson, N. Signatures of Adaptation in Mitochondrial Genomes of Palearctic Subterranean Voles (Arvicolinae, Rodentia). Genes2021, 12, 1945.
Bondareva, O.; Genelt-Yanovskiy, E.; Petrova, T.; Bodrov, S.; Smorkatcheva, A.; Abramson, N. Signatures of Adaptation in Mitochondrial Genomes of Palearctic Subterranean Voles (Arvicolinae, Rodentia). Genes 2021, 12, 1945.
The current study evaluates the selection signals in the evolution of mitochondrial DNA of voles, subfamily Arvicolinae, during the colonization of subterranean environments. The comparative sequence analysis of mitochondrial protein-coding genes of eight subterranean vole species (Prometheomys schaposchnikowi, three species of the genus Ellobius: E. talpinus, E. fuscocapillus and E. lutescens, two species of the genus Terricola: T. subterraneus and T. daghestanicus, Lasiopodomys mandarinus and Hyperacrius fertilis) and their closest aboveground relatives using codon-substitution models was applied. The highest number of selection signatures was detected in genes ATP8 and CYTB. The relaxation of selection was observed in most mtDNA protein-coding genes. In mole voles (genus Ellobius) the signatures of adaptive evolution of mitochondrial genes related to subterranean niche were most pronounced. The number of selection signatures was found to be independent of the evolutionary age of the lineage but fits the degree of specialization to the subterranean niche. The common trends of selective pressures were observed among the evolutionary ancient and highly specialized subterranean rodent families and phylogenetically young lineages of voles. It suggests that the signatures of adaptations in individual mitochondrial protein-coding genes associated with the colonization of the subterranean niche may appear within a rather short evolutionary timespan.
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