The mitochondrial genome of the oribatid mite Paraleius leontonychus: new insights into tRNA evolution and phylogenetic relationships in acariform mites

Sci Rep. 2018 May 15;8(1):7558. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25981-w.


Bilaterian mitochondrial (mt) genomes are circular molecules that typically contain 37 genes. To date, only a single complete mitogenome sequence is available for the species-rich sarcoptiform mite order Oribatida. We sequenced the mitogenome of Paraleius leontonychus, another species of this suborder. It is 14,186 bp long and contains 35 genes, including only 20 tRNAs, lacking tRNA Gly and tRNA Tyr . Re-annotation of the mitogenome of Steganacarus magnus increased the number of mt tRNAs for this species to 12. As typical for acariform mites, many tRNAs are highly truncated in both oribatid species. The total number of tRNAs and the number of tRNAs with a complete cloverleaf-like structure in P. leontonychus, however, clearly exceeds the numbers previously reported for Sarcoptiformes. This indicates, contrary to what has been previously assumed, that reduction of tRNAs is not a general characteristic for sarcoptiform mites. Compared to other Sarcoptiformes, the two oribatid species have the least rearranged mt genome with respect to the pattern observed in Limulus polyphemus, a basal arachnid species. Phylogenetic analysis of the newly sequenced mt genome and previously published data on other acariform mites confirms paraphyly of the Oribatida and an origin of the Astigmata within the Oribatida.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome Size
  • Genome, Mitochondrial*
  • Mites / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*


  • RNA, Transfer