The complete mitochondrial genome of the white-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus

Mitochondrial DNA A DNA Mapp Seq Anal. 2016 Nov;27(6):4259-4260. doi: 10.3109/19401736.2015.1053076. Epub 2016 May 20.


The white-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus (Pelecaniformes, Phaethontidae) is a tropicbird, smallest of three closely related seabirds of the tropical oceans and smallest member of the order Pelecaniformes. Here, we first determined the complete mitochondrial genome of while-tailed tropicbird. The mitogenome (17,773 bp) was composed of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 1 putative control region. Most protein-coding genes started with a traditional ATG codon except for COX1, COX2, and ND3, which initiated with non-typical start codon GTG, GTG, and ATA instead, respectively, and terminated with the mitochondria stop codon (TAA/TCC/AGG/AGA). The mitogenome structural organization was identical to the same genus species Phaethon rubricauda. The overall AT content was 52.04%, which was higher than GC. To obtain the phylogenetic status of Phaethon lepturus, we constructed the species phylogenetic tree together with the 12 protein-coding genes of nine other closely species. We expected that the complete mitogenome of while-tailed tropicbird would contribute to address taxonomic issues and study the related evolution events.

Keywords: Mitogenome; Phaethon lepturus; white-tailed tropicbird.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Composition / genetics
  • Birds / genetics*
  • Codon, Initiator / genetics
  • Codon, Terminator / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Genes, rRNA / genetics
  • Genome, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics


  • Codon, Initiator
  • Codon, Terminator
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Transfer