Comparative analysis of the ribosomal DNA repeat unit (rDNA) of Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) and Perna canaliculus (Gmelin, 1791)

PeerJ. 2019 Sep 3;7:e7644. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7644. eCollection 2019.


Perna viridis and P. canaliculus are economically and ecologically important species of shellfish. In this study, the complete ribosomal DNA (rDNA) unit sequences of these species were determined for the first time. The gene order, 18S rRNA-internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2-28S rRNA-intergenic spacer (IGS), was similar to that observed in other eukaryotes. The lengths of the P. viridis and P. canaliculus rDNA sequences ranged from 8,432 to 8,616 bp and from 7,597 to 7,610 bp, respectively, this variability was mainly attributable to the IGS region. The putative transcription termination site and initiation site were confirmed. Perna viridis and P. canaliculus rDNA contained two (length: 93 and 40 bp) and one (length: 131 bp) repeat motifs, respectively. Individual intra-species differences mainly involved the copy number of repeat units. In P. viridis, three cytosine-guanine (CpG) sites with sizes of 440, 1,075 and 537 bp were found to cover nearly the entire IGS sequence, whereas in P. canaliculus, two CpG islands with sizes of 361 and 484 bp were identified. The phylogenetic trees constructed with maximum likelihood and neighbour-joining methods and based on ITS sequences were identical and included three major clusters. Species of the same genus were easily clustered together.

Keywords: Intergenic spacer; Perna canaliculus; Perna viridis; Ribosomal DNA; Sub-repeat region.

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (Grant Number ZR2017PEE008). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.