Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(2):172-186. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.172 This issue

Research Paper

The complete mitochondrial genome of the fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

Fang Liao1,2, Lin Wang3, Song Wu4, Yu-Ping Li4, Lei Zhao1, Guo-Ming Huang2, Chun-Jing Niu2, Yan-Qun Liu4, , Ming-Gang Li1,

1. College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
2. Tianjin Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Tianjin 300457, China
3. Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Beijing 101113, China
4. College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Shenyang Agricultural University, Liaoning, Shenyang 110866, China

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Liao F, Wang L, Wu S, Li YP, Zhao L, Huang GM, Niu CJ, Liu YQ, Li MG. The complete mitochondrial genome of the fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(2):172-186. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.172. Available from

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The complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) was determined. The genome is a circular molecule 15 481 bp long. It presents a typical gene organization and order for completely sequenced lepidopteran mitogenomes, but differs from the insect ancestral type for the placement of tRNAMet. The nucleotide composition of the genome is also highly A + T biased, accounting for 80.38%, with a slightly positive AT skewness (0.010), indicating the occurrence of more As than Ts, as found in the Noctuoidea species. All protein-coding genes (PCGs) are initiated by ATN codons, except for COI, which is tentatively designated by the CGA codon as observed in other lepidopterans. Four of 13 PCGs harbor the incomplete termination codon, T or TA. All tRNAs have a typical clover-leaf structure of mitochondrial tRNAs, except for tRNASer(AGN), the DHU arm of which could not form a stable stem-loop structure. The intergenic spacer sequence between tRNASer(AGN) and ND1 also contains the ATACTAA motif, which is conserved across the Lepidoptera order. The H. cunea A+T-rich region of 357 bp is comprised of non-repetitive sequences, but harbors several features common to the Lepidoptera insects, including the motif ATAGA followed by an 18 bp poly-T stretch, a microsatellite-like (AT)8 element preceded by the ATTTA motif, an 11 bp poly-A present immediately upstream tRNAMet. The phylogenetic analyses support the view that the H. cunea is closerly related to the Lymantria dispar than Ochrogaster lunifer, and support the hypothesis that Noctuoidea (H. cunea, L. dispar, and O. lunifer) and Geometroidea (Phthonandria atrilineata) are monophyletic. However, in the phylogenetic trees based on mitogenome sequences among the lepidopteran superfamilies, Papillonoidea (Artogeia melete, Acraea issoria, and Coreana raphaelis) joined basally within the monophyly of Lepidoptera, which is different to the traditional classification.

Keywords: Fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea, Mitochondrial genome, Lepidoptera, Arctiidae, Phylogeny