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Mesozoic mitogenome rearrangements and freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionoidea) macroevolution

Froufe, Elsa; Bolotov, Ivan; Aldridge, David C.; Bogan, Arthur E.; Breton, Sophie; Gan, Han Ming; Kovitvadhi, Uthaiwan; Kovitvadhi, Satit; Riccardi, Nicoletta; Secci-Petretto, Giulia; Sousa, Ronaldo; Teixeira, Amilcar; Varandas, Simone; Zanatta, David; Zieritz, Alexandra; Fonseca, Miguel M.; Lopes-Lima, Manuel


Elsa Froufe

Ivan Bolotov

David C. Aldridge

Arthur E. Bogan

Sophie Breton

Han Ming Gan

Uthaiwan Kovitvadhi

Satit Kovitvadhi

Nicoletta Riccardi

Giulia Secci-Petretto

Ronaldo Sousa

Amilcar Teixeira

Simone Varandas

David Zanatta

Miguel M. Fonseca

Manuel Lopes-Lima


© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Genetics Society. Using a new fossil-calibrated mitogenome-based approach, we identified macroevolutionary shifts in mitochondrial gene order among the freshwater mussels (Unionoidea). We show that the early Mesozoic divergence of the two Unionoidea clades, Margaritiferidae and Unionidae, was accompanied by a synchronous split in the gene arrangement in the female mitogenome (i.e., gene orders MF1 and UF1). Our results suggest that this macroevolutionary jump was completed within a relatively short time interval (95% HPD 201–226 Ma) that coincided with the Triassic–Jurassic mass extinction. Both gene orders have persisted within these clades for ~200 Ma. The monophyly of the so-called “problematic” Gonideinae taxa was supported by all the inferred phylogenies in this study using, for the first time, the M- and F-type mitogenomes either singly or combined. Within Gonideinae, two additional splits in the gene order (UF1 to UF2, UF2 to UF3) occurred in the Mesozoic and have persisted for ~150 and ~100 Ma, respectively. Finally, the mitogenomic results suggest ancient connections between freshwater basins of East Asia and Europe near the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, probably via a continuous paleo-river system or along the Tethys coastal line, which are well supported by at least three independent but almost synchronous divergence events.


Froufe, E., Bolotov, I., Aldridge, D. C., Bogan, A. E., Breton, S., Gan, H. M., …Lopes-Lima, M. (2020). Mesozoic mitogenome rearrangements and freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionoidea) macroevolution. Heredity, 124, 182–196.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 30, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 14, 2019
Publication Date 2020-01
Deposit Date Jul 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 15, 2019
Journal Heredity
Print ISSN 0018-067X
Electronic ISSN 1365-2540
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 124
Pages 182–196
Keywords Genetics(clinical); Genetics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 1 February 2019; Revised: 28 May 2019; Accepted: 30 May 2019; First Online: 14 June 2019; : ; : The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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