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      Analysis of codon usage bias of mitochondrial genome in Bombyx mori and its relation to evolution


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          Synonymous codon usage bias (SCUB) is an inevitable phenomenon in organismic taxa, generally referring to differences in the occurrence frequency of codons across different species or within the genome of the same species. SCUB happens in various degrees under pressure from nature selection, mutation bias and other factors in different ways. It also attaches great significance to gene expression and species evolution, however, a systematic investigation towards the codon usage in Bombyx mori ( B. mori) has not been reported yet. Moreover, it is still indistinct about the reasons contributing to the bias or the relationship between the bias and the evolution of B. mori.


          The comparison of the codon usage pattern between the genomic DNA (gDNA) and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from B. mori suggests that mtDNA has a higher level of codon bias. Furthermore, the correspondence analysis suggests that natural selection, such as gene length, gene function and translational selection, dominates the codon preference of mtDNA, while the composition constraints for mutation bias only plays a minor role. Additionally, the clustering results of the silkworm superfamily suggest a lack of explicitness in the relationship between the codon usage of mitogenome and species evolution.


          Among the complicated influence factors leading to codon bias, natural selection is found to play a major role in shaping the high bias in the mtDNA of B. mori from our current data. Although the cluster analysis reveals that codon bias correlates little with the species evolution, furthermore, a detailed analysis of codon usage of mitogenome provides better insight into the evolutionary relationships in Lepidoptera. However, more new methods and data are needed to investigate the relationship between the mtDNA bias and evolution.

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          Most cited references63

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          The 'effective number of codons' used in a gene.

          F. Wright (1990)
          A simple measure is presented that quantifies how far the codon usage of a gene departs from equal usage of synonymous codons. This measure of synonymous codon usage bias, the 'effective number of codons used in a gene', Nc, can be easily calculated from codon usage data alone, and is independent of gene length and amino acid (aa) composition. Nc can take values from 20, in the case of extreme bias where one codon is exclusively used for each aa, to 61 when the use of alternative synonymous codons is equally likely. Nc thus provides an intuitively meaningful measure of the extent of codon preference in a gene. Codon usage patterns across genes can be investigated by the Nc-plot: a plot of Nc vs. G + C content at synonymous sites. Nc-plots are produced for Homo sapiens, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Dictyostelium discoideum, and Drosophila melanogaster. A FORTRAN77 program written to calculate Nc is available on request.
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            Codon usage and tRNA content in unicellular and multicellular organisms.

            T Ikemura (1985)
            Choices of synonymous codons in unicellular organisms are here reviewed, and differences in synonymous codon usages between Escherichia coli and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are attributed to differences in the actual populations of isoaccepting tRNAs. There exists a strong positive correlation between codon usage and tRNA content in both organisms, and the extent of this correlation relates to the protein production levels of individual genes. Codon-choice patterns are believed to have been well conserved during the course of evolution. Examination of silent substitutions and tRNA populations in Enterobacteriaceae revealed that the evolutionary constraint imposed by tRNA content on codon usage decelerated rather than accelerated the silent-substitution rate, at least insofar as pairs of taxonomically related organisms were examined. Codon-choice patterns of multicellular organisms are briefly reviewed, and diversity in G+C percentage at the third position of codons in vertebrate genes--as well as a possible causative factor in the production of this diversity--is discussed.
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              The selection-mutation-drift theory of synonymous codon usage.

              M Bulmer (1991)
              It is argued that the bias in synonymous codon usage observed in unicellular organisms is due to a balance between the forces of selection and mutation in a finite population, with greater bias in highly expressed genes reflecting stronger selection for efficiency of translation. A population genetic model is developed taking into account population size and selective differences between synonymous codons. A biochemical model is then developed to predict the magnitude of selective differences between synonymous codons in unicellular organisms in which growth rate (or possibly growth yield) can be equated with fitness. Selection can arise from differences in either the speed or the accuracy of translation. A model for the effect of speed of translation on fitness is considered in detail, a similar model for accuracy more briefly. The model is successful in predicting a difference in the degree of bias at the beginning than in the rest of the gene under some circumstances, as observed in Escherichia coli, but grossly overestimates the amount of bias expected. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.

                Author and article information

                BMC Evol Biol
                BMC Evol. Biol
                BMC Evolutionary Biology
                BioMed Central (London )
                17 December 2014
                17 December 2014
                : 14
                : 1
                : 262
                [ ]Subtropical Sericulture and Mulberry Resources Protection and Safety Engineering Research Center, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agro-animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642 China
                [ ]Guangzhou East Campus Lab Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510006 China
                © Wei et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 20 August 2014
                : 9 December 2014
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2014

                Evolutionary Biology
                bombyx mori,synonymous codon usage bias,genomic dna,mitochondrial dna,evolution


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