Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Four Pelodiscus sinensis Strains and Comparison with Other Trionychidae Species

Biology (Basel). 2023 Mar 3;12(3):406. doi: 10.3390/biology12030406.


The Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is an important aquaculture reptile with rich nutritional and medicinal values. In recent decades, the wild resources of P. sinensis have been depleting due to natural and artificial factors. Herein, we report the complete mitochondrial genome of four P. sinensis strains, including the Japanese (RB) strain, Qingxi Huabie (HB) strain, Jiangxi (JB) strain, and Qingxi Wubie (WB) strain. The nucleotide composition within the complete mitogenomes was biased towards A + T with a variable frequency ranging from 59.28% (cox3) to 70.31% (atp8). The mitogenomes of all four strains contained 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs, 1 control region, and a replication origin region of the L-strand replication (OL), which was consistent with most vertebrates. Additionally, the atp8, nad4l, nad6, and nad3 genes possessed high genetic variation and can be used as potential markers for the identification of these P. sinensis strains. Additionally, all PCGs genes were evolving primarily under purifying selection. Through comparative analysis, it was revealed that most of the tRNAs were structurally different in the TψC stem, DHU stem, and acceptor stem. The length of the tandem repeats in the control region was variable in the four P. sinensis strains, ranging from 2 bp to 50 bp. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all P. sinensis strains clustered into one branch and were closely related to other Trionychinae species. Overall, this study provides mitochondrial genome information for different P. sinensis strains to support further species identification and germplasm resource conservation.

Keywords: Pelodiscus sinensis; control region; mitochondrial genome; phylogenetic relationship; structural variation.