Duplication and remolding of tRNA Genes in the mitochondrial genome of reduvius tenebrosus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)

Pei Jiang, Hu Li, Fan Song, Yao Cai, Jianyun Wang, Jinpeng Liu, Wanzhi Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Most assassin bugs are predators that act as important natural enemies of insect pests. Mitochondrial (mt) genomes of these insects are double-strand circular DNAs that encode 37 genes. In the present study, we explore the duplication and rearrangement of tRNA genes in the mt genome of Reduvius tenebrosus, the first mt genome from the subfamily Reduviinae. The gene order rearranges from CR (control region)-trnI-trnQ-trnM-ND2 to CR-trnQ-trnI2-trnI1-trnM-ND2. We identified 23 tRNA genes, including 22 tRNAs commonly found in insects and an additional trnI (trnI2), which has high sequence similarity to trnM. We found several pseudo genes, such as pseudo-trnI, pseudo-CR, and pseudo-ND2, in the hotspot region of gene rearrangement (between the control region and ND2). These features provided evidence that this novel gene order could be explained by the tandem duplication/random loss (TDRL) model. The tRNA duplication/anticodon mutation mechanism further explains the presence of trnI2, which is remolded from a duplicated trnM in the TDRL process (through an anticodon mutation of CAT to GAT). Our study also raises new questions as to whether the two events proceed simultaneously and if the remolded tRNA gene is fully functional. Significantly, the duplicated tRNA gene in the mitochondrial genome has evolved independently at least two times within assassin bugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number951
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors.


  • Mitochondrial genome
  • Reduviidae
  • TDRL model
  • TRNA gene rearrangement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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