Concerted Evolution of Duplicate Control Regions in the Mitochondria of Species of the Flatfish Family Bothidae (Teleostei: Pleuronectiformes)
Mitogenomes of flatfishes (Pleuronectiformes) exhibit the greatest diversity of gene rear-rangements in teleostean fishes. Duplicate control regions (CRs) have been found in the mito-genomes of two flatfishes, Samariscus latus (Samaridae) and Laeops lanceolata (Bothidae), which is rare in teleosts. It has been reported that duplicate CRs have evolved in a concerted fashion in fishes and other animals, however, whether concerted evo-lution exists in flatfishes remains unknown. In this study, based on five newly sequenced and six previously reported mitogenomes of lefteye flounders in the Bothidae, we explored whether duplicate CRs and concerted evolution exist in these species. Results based on the present study and previous reports show that four out of eleven bothid species examined have duplicate CRs of their mitogenomes. The core regions of the duplicate CRs of mitogenomes in the same species have identical, or nearly identical, sequences when compared to each other. This pattern fits the typical characteristics of concerted evolution. Additionally, phylogenetic and ancestral state reconstruction analysis also provided evidence to support the hypothesis that duplicate CRs evolved concertedly. The core region of concerted evolution is situated at the conserved domains of the CR of the mitogenome from the termination associated sequences (TASs) to the conserved sequence blocks (CSBs). Commonly, this region is con-sidered to regulate mitochondrial replication and transcription. Thus, we hypothesize that the cause of concerted evolution of the duplicate CRs in the mtDNAs of these four bothids may be related to some function of the conserved sequences of the CRs during mitochondrial rep-lication and transcription. We hope our results will provide fresh insight into the molecular mechanisms related to replication and evolution of mitogenomes.