Complete mitogenomes of Turkish tree squirrels, Sciurus anomalus and S. vulgaris, (Sciuridae: Rodentia: Mammalia) and their phylogenetic status within the tribe Sciurini

Gene. 2022 Oct 20:841:146773. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2022.146773. Epub 2022 Jul 26.


The genus Sciurus, a member of the family Sciuridae, is widely distributed in the Holarctic region. To better understand mitogenomic characteristics and to reveal internal phylogenetic relationships of the genus, 20 complete mitogenomes of Turkish tree squirrels were successfully sequenced for the first time, including 19 for S. anomalus (from 16,505 bp to 16,510 bp) and one for S. vulgaris (16,511 bp). The mitogenomes of two species were AT-biased. All tRNAs for two species displayed a typical clover-leaf structure, except for tRNASer(AGY). The tRNA Serine1 (S1)-GCT structure lacked the dihydrouridine (DHU) loop and stem. Based on mitogenomic dataset for phylogeny of Sciurinae, phylogenetic analyses (Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood) did not support monophyly of Sciurus and proposed that S. anomalus, the most basal taxa in the Sciurini tribe, had at least five mitogenome lineages, which were also supported by network analysis. The dissimilarities among the five lineages of S. anomalus ranged from 0.0042 (0.42%) to 0.0062 (0.62%) using K2P sequence pairwise distances. In addition to this mitogenomic analysis result, phylogenetic analyses using the CYTB + D-loop dataset proposed the existence of at least nine lineages for S. anomalus, which was different than those of the previous studies. The current study proposed that the use of mitogenomic data for reconstructing the phylogeny of Turkey's Sciurus holds an important value for revealing evolutionary relationships.

Keywords: Mitogenomes; Phylogeny; S. vulgaris; Sciuridae; Sciurus anomalus; Turkey.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Genome, Mitochondrial* / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Transfer
  • Sciuridae* / genetics
  • Turkey


  • RNA, Transfer