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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sequencing and comparing whole mitochondrial genomes of animals


Comparing complete animal mitochondrial genome sequences is becoming increasingly common for phylogenetic reconstruction and as a model for genome evolution. Not only are they much more informative than shorter sequences of individual genes for inferring evolutionary relatedness, but these data also provide sets of genome-level characters, such as the relative arrangements of genes, that can be especially powerful. We describe here the protocols commonly used for physically isolating mtDNA, for amplifying these by PCR or RCA, for cloning, sequencing, assembly, validation, and gene annotation, and for comparing both sequences and gene arrangements. On several topics, we offer general observations based on our experiences to date with determining and comparing complete mtDNA sequences.

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