Mitochondrial genomes of the Dorcus velutinus complex (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) with the large intergenic spacer showing unique short sequence repeats and their implications for systematics


Mitochondrial genomes of the three lucanid species in the Dorcus velutinus complex – Dorcus velutinus Thomson, D. ursulus Arrow and D. tenuihirsutus Kim and Kim  were assembled and analyzed through next generation sequencing. The mitogenome sequences were used to infer phylogenetic relationships among Dorcus species. Our analyses revealed that the newly sequenced mitogenomes are comparable in their size, content, and gene arrangement to other lucanid mitogenomes reported to date. However, we confirmed the presence of a large intergenic spacer (IGS) between trnS(UCN) and ND1 genes, whose length varied from 170 bp (in D. tenuihirsutus) to 193 bp (in D. ursulus and D. velutinus). Within this IGS region, a short sequence fragment (TACTAAATT) was found uniquely across the three species of Dorcus velutinus complex. Our phylogenetic analyses show that the D. velutinus complex constitutes a distinct clade with a significant divergence from other species of the genus Dorcus sensu stricto. Furthermore, we reaffirm the validity of D. tenuihirsutus – a species originally described from Korea – as a distinct species, though the taxonomic status of D. ursulus remains to be studied further. Finally, we find the presence and location of large IGSs to be useful for studying evolutionary history and species delimitation in stag beetles.
Last updated on 06/29/2021