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Forskningsartikel2016Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Molecular evolution of a widely-adopted taxonomic marker (COI) across the animal tree of life

Pentinsaari, Mikko; Salmela, Heli; Mutanen, Marko; Roslin, Tomas


DNA barcodes are widely used for identification and discovery of species. While such use draws on information at the DNA level, the current amassment of ca.4.7 million COI barcodes also offers a unique resource for exploring functional constraints on DNA evolution. Here, we explore amino acid variation in a crosscut of the entire animal kingdom. Patterns of DNA variation were linked to functional constraints at the level of the amino acid sequence in functionally important parts of the enzyme. Six amino acid sites show variation with possible effects on enzyme function. Overall, patterns of amino acid variation suggest convergent or parallel evolution at the protein level connected to the transition into a parasitic life style. Denser sampling of two diverse insect taxa revealed that the beetles ( Coleoptera) show more amino acid variation than the butterflies and moths ( Lepidoptera), indicating fundamental difference in patterns of molecular evolution in COI. Several amino acid sites were found to be under notably strong purifying selection in Lepidoptera as compared to Coleoptera. Overall, these findings demonstrate the utility of the global DNA barcode library to extend far beyond identification and taxonomy, and will hopefully be followed by a multitude of work.

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Scientific Reports
2016, Volym: 6, artikelnummer: 35275

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