The complete mitochondrial genome and phylogenetic analysis of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

Gene. 2007 Aug 1;397(1-2):76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.04.009. Epub 2007 Apr 18.


The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, was determined by the long and accurate polymerase chain reaction (LA-PCR) with conserved primers and primer walking sequence methods. The complete mitochondrial DNA is 16,805 nucleotides in length and contains two ribosomal RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and one control region. The total length of the 13 protein-coding genes is longer than the American black bear, brown bear and polar bear by 3 amino acids at the end of ND5 gene. The codon usage also followed the typical vertebrate pattern except for an unusual ATT start codon, which initiates the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) gene. The molecular phylogenetic analysis was performed on the sequences of 12 concatenated heavy-strand encoded protein-coding genes, and suggested that the giant panda is most closely related to bears.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Mitochondrial
  • Genome
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Ursidae / genetics*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Transfer