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      Positive Selection Drove the Adaptation of Mitochondrial Genes to the Demands of Flight and High-Altitude Environments in Grasshoppers

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          The molecular evolution of mitochondrial genes responds to changes in energy requirements and to high altitude adaptation in animals, but this has not been fully explored in invertebrates. The evolution of atmospheric oxygen content from high to low necessarily affects the energy requirements of insect movement. We examined 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes (PCGs) of grasshoppers to test whether the adaptive evolution of genes involved in energy metabolism occurs in changes in atmospheric oxygen content and high altitude adaptation. Our molecular evolutionary analysis of the 13 PCGs in 15 species of flying grasshoppers and 13 related flightless grasshoppers indicated that, similar to previous studies, flightless grasshoppers have experienced relaxed selection. We found evidence of significant positive selection in the genes ATP8, COX3, ND2, ND4, ND4L, ND5, and ND6 in flying lineages. This results suggested that episodic positive selection allowed the mitochondrial genes of flying grasshoppers to adapt to increased energy demands during the continuous reduction of atmospheric oxygen content. Our analysis of five grasshopper endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and 13 non-Tibetan grasshoppers indicated that, due to positive selection, more non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions accumulated in Tibetan grasshoppers than in non-Tibetan grasshoppers. We also found evidence for significant positive selection in the genes ATP6, ND2, ND3, ND4, and ND5 in Tibetan lineages. Our results thus strongly suggest that, in grasshoppers, positive selection drives mitochondrial genes to better adapt both to the energy requirements of flight and to the high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau.

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          Most cited references 44

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          TREEFINDER: a powerful graphical analysis environment for molecular phylogenetics

          Background Most analysis programs for inferring molecular phylogenies are difficult to use, in particular for researchers with little programming experience. Results TREEFINDER is an easy-to-use integrative platform-independent analysis environment for molecular phylogenetics. In this paper the main features of TREEFINDER (version of April 2004) are described. TREEFINDER is written in ANSI C and Java and implements powerful statistical approaches for inferring gene tree and related analyzes. In addition, it provides a user-friendly graphical interface and a phylogenetic programming language. Conclusions TREEFINDER is a versatile framework for analyzing phylogenetic data across different platforms that is suited both for exploratory as well as advanced studies.
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            Effects of purifying and adaptive selection on regional variation in human mtDNA.

            A phylogenetic analysis of 1125 global human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences permitted positioning of all nucleotide substitutions according to their order of occurrence. The relative frequency and amino acid conservation of internal branch replacement mutations was found to increase from tropical Africa to temperate Europe and arctic northeastern Siberia. Particularly highly conserved amino acid substitutions were found at the roots of multiple mtDNA lineages from higher latitudes. These same lineages correlate with increased propensity for energy deficiency diseases as well as longevity. Thus, specific mtDNA replacement mutations permitted our ancestors to adapt to more northern climates, and these same variants are influencing our health today.
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              COPSE: A new model of biogeochemical cycling over Phanerozoic time

               N. Bergman (2004)

                Author and article information

                Front Genet
                Front Genet
                Front. Genet.
                Frontiers in Genetics
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                05 December 2018
                : 9
                1Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University , Nanjing, China
                2School of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Hechi University , Yizhou, China
                3College of Oceanology and Food Sciences, Quanzhou Normal University , Quanzhou, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Bart Pannebakker, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands

                Reviewed by: Stephane Boissinot, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; T. Fatima Mitterboeck, Canadian Research Institute in Food Safety (CRIFS), Canada

                *Correspondence: Guo-Fang Jiang, cnjgf1208@

                This article was submitted to Evolutionary and Population Genetics, a section of the journal Frontiers in Genetics

                Copyright © 2018 Li, Jiang, Yan, Li, Mu and Deng.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 68, Pages: 12, Words: 0
                Original Research


                grasshoppers, positive selection, high-altitude adaptation, flight, mitochondrial genes


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