The mitochondrial genome of Arctica islandica; Phylogeny and variation

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 2;8(12):e82857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082857. eCollection 2013.


Arctica islandica is known as the longest-lived non-colonial metazoan species on earth and is therefore increasingly being investigated as a new model in aging research. As the mitochondrial genome is associated with the process of aging in many species and bivalves are known to possess a peculiar mechanism of mitochondrial genome inheritance including doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI), we aimed to assess the genomic variability of the A. islandica mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of A. islandica specimens from three different sites in the Western Palaearctic (Iceland, North Sea, Baltic Sea). We found the A. islandica mtDNA to fall within the normal size range (18 kb) and exhibit similar coding capacity as other animal mtDNAs. The concatenated protein sequences of all currently known Veneroidea mtDNAs were used to robustly place A. islandica in a phylogenetic framework. Analysis of the observed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) patterns on further specimen revealed two prevailing haplotypes. Populations in the Baltic and the North Sea are very homogenous, whereas the Icelandic population, from which exceptionally old individuals have been collected, is the most diverse one. Homogeneity in Baltic and North Sea populations point to either stronger environmental constraints or more recent colonization of the habitat. Our analysis lays the foundation for further studies on A. islandica population structures, age research with this organism, and for phylogenetic studies. Accessions for the mitochondrial genome sequences: KC197241 Iceland; KF363951 Baltic Sea; KF363952 North Sea; KF465708 to KF465758 individual amplified regions from different speciemen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / classification
  • Bivalvia / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Genome, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Haplotypes
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KC197241
  • GENBANK/KF363951
  • GENBANK/KF363952
  • GENBANK/KF465708
  • GENBANK/KF465709
  • GENBANK/KF465710
  • GENBANK/KF465711
  • GENBANK/KF465712
  • GENBANK/KF465713
  • GENBANK/KF465714
  • GENBANK/KF465715
  • GENBANK/KF465716
  • GENBANK/KF465717
  • GENBANK/KF465718
  • GENBANK/KF465719
  • GENBANK/KF465720
  • GENBANK/KF465721
  • GENBANK/KF465722
  • GENBANK/KF465723
  • GENBANK/KF465724
  • GENBANK/KF465725
  • GENBANK/KF465726
  • GENBANK/KF465727
  • GENBANK/KF465728
  • GENBANK/KF465729
  • GENBANK/KF465730
  • GENBANK/KF465731
  • GENBANK/KF465732
  • GENBANK/KF465733
  • GENBANK/KF465734
  • GENBANK/KF465735
  • GENBANK/KF465736
  • GENBANK/KF465737
  • GENBANK/KF465738
  • GENBANK/KF465739
  • GENBANK/KF465740
  • GENBANK/KF465741
  • GENBANK/KF465742
  • GENBANK/KF465743
  • GENBANK/KF465744
  • GENBANK/KF465745
  • GENBANK/KF465746
  • GENBANK/KF465747
  • GENBANK/KF465748
  • GENBANK/KF465749
  • GENBANK/KF465750
  • GENBANK/KF465751
  • GENBANK/KF465752
  • GENBANK/KF465753
  • GENBANK/KF465754
  • GENBANK/KF465755
  • GENBANK/KF465756
  • GENBANK/KF465757
  • GENBANK/KF465758

Grants and funding

Internal project funding of the FLI (Fritz-Lipmann Institute). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.