The complete nucleotide sequence and gene organization of the mitochondrial genome of the bumblebee, Bombus ignitus (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Gene. 2007 May 1;392(1-2):206-20. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2006.12.031. Epub 2007 Jan 20.


The complete 16,434-bp nucleotide sequence of the mitogenome of the bumble bee, Bombus ignitus (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was determined. The genome contains the base composition and codon usage typical of metazoan mitogenomes. An unusual feature of the B. ignitus mitogenome is the presence of five tRNA-like structures: two each of the tRNALeu(UUR)-like and tRNASer(AGN)-like sequences and one tRNAPhe-like sequence. These tRNA-like sequences have proper folding structures and anticodon sequences, but their functionality in their respective amino acid transfers remained uncertain. Among these sequences, the tRNALeu(UUR)-like sequence and the tRNASer(AGN)-like sequence are seemingly located within the A+T-rich region. This tRNASer(AGN)-like sequence is highly unusual in that its sequence homology is very high compared to the tRNAMet of other insects, including Apis mellifera, but it contains the anticodon ACT, which designates it as tRNASer(AGN). All PCG and rRNAs are conserved in positions observed most frequently in insect mitogenome structures, but the positions of the tRNAs are highly variable, presenting a new arrangement for an insect mitogenome. As a whole, the B. ignitus mitogenome contains the highest A+T content (86.9%) found in any of the complete insects mt sequences determined to date. All protein-coding sequences started with a typical ATN codon. Nine of the 13 PCGs have a complete termination codon (all TAA), but the remaining four genes terminate with the incomplete TA or T. All tRNAs have the typical clover-leaf structures of mt tRNAs, except for tRNASer(AGN), in which the DHU arm forms a simple loop. All anticodons of B. ignitus tRNAs are identical to those of A. mellifera. In the A+T-rich region, a highly conserved sequence block that was previously described in Orthoptera and Diptera was also present. The stem-and-loop structures that may play a role in the initiation of mtDNA replication were also found in this region. Phylogenetic analysis among three corbiculate tribes, represented by Melipona bicolor (Meliponini), A. mellifera (Apini), and B. ignitus (Bombini), showed the closest relationship between M. bicolor and B. ignitus.

MeSH terms

  • AT Rich Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bees / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Mitochondrial*
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics


  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Transfer

Associated data

  • GENBANK/DQ870926