Mitochondrial metagenomics: letting the genes out of the bottle

Crampton-Platt, Alex, Yu, Douglas W., Zhou, Xin and Vogler, Alfried P. (2016) Mitochondrial metagenomics: letting the genes out of the bottle. GigaScience, 5 (1). ISSN 2047-217X

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‘Mitochondrial metagenomics’ (MMG) is a methodology for shotgun sequencing of total DNA from specimen mixtures and subsequent bioinformatic extraction of mitochondrial sequences. The approach can be applied to phylogenetic analysis of taxonomically selected taxa, as an economical alternative to mitogenome sequencing from individual species, or to environmental samples of mixed specimens, such as from mass trapping of invertebrates. The routine generation of mitochondrial genome sequences has great potential both for systematics and community phylogenetics. Mapping of reads from low-coverage shotgun sequencing of environmental samples also makes it possible to obtain data on spatial and temporal turnover in whole-community phylogenetic and species composition, even in complex ecosystems where species-level taxonomy and biodiversity patterns are poorly known. In addition, read mapping can produce information on species biomass, and potentially allows quantification of within-species genetic variation. The success of MMG relies on the formation of numerous mitochondrial genome contigs, achievable with standard genome assemblers, but various challenges for the efficiency of assembly remain, particularly in the face of variable relative species abundance and intra-specific genetic variation. Nevertheless, several studies have demonstrated the power of mitogenomes from MMG for accurate phylogenetic placement, evolutionary analysis of species traits, biodiversity discovery and the establishment of species distribution patterns; it offers a promising avenue for unifying the ecological and evolutionary understanding of species diversity.

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Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), 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 (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 12:00
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 00:06
DOI: 10.1186/s13742-016-0120-y

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