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      Intraspecific rearrangement of mitochondrial genome suggests the prevalence of the tandem duplication-random loss (TDLR) mechanism in Quasipaa boulengeri

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          Tandem duplication followed by random loss (TDRL) is the most frequently invoked model to explain the diversity of gene rearrangements in metazoan mitogenomes. The initial stages of gene rearrangement are difficult to observe in nature, which limits our understanding of incipient duplication events and the subsequent process of random loss. Intraspecific gene reorganizations may represent intermediate states, and if so they potentially shed light on the evolutionary dynamics of TDRL.


          Nucleotide sequences in a hotspot of gene-rearrangement in 28 populations of a single species of frog, Quasipaa boulengeri, provide such predicted intermediate states. Gene order and phylogenetic analyses support a single tandem duplication event and a step-by-step process of random loss. Intraspecific gene rearrangements are not commonly found through comparison of all mitochondrial DNA records of amphibians and squamate reptiles in GenBank.


          The intraspecific variation in Q. boulengeri provides insights into the rate of partial duplications and deletions within a mitogenome, and reveals that fixation and gene-distribution in mitogenomic reorganization is likely non-adaptive.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-3309-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 52

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                Author and article information

                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central (London )
                24 November 2016
                24 November 2016
                : 17
                [1 ]Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, 610041 China
                [2 ]Centre for Biodiversity, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6 Canada
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: National Natural Sciences Foundation of China
                Award ID: 31372181
                Award ID: 31401960
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef, National Natural Science Foundation of China;
                Award ID: 31572243
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2016


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