The complete mitochondrial genome of an agamid lizard from the Afro-Asian subfamily agaminae and the phylogenetic position of Bufoniceps and Xenagama

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 3101 Valley Life Science Building, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (Impact Factor: 3.92). 07/2006; 39(3):881-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2005.08.020
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Squamate reptiles are traditionally divided into six groups: Iguania, Anguimorpha, Scincomorpha, Gekkota (these four are lizards), Serpentes (snakes), and Amphisbaenia (the so-called worm lizards). The Iguania is recognized as having two major lineages the Iguanidae and Acrodonta (Agamidae and Chamaeleonidae). Currently, there are complete mitochondrial genomes from three Anguimorpha (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa and Endo, 2004), two from the Scincomorpha (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa and Nishida, 1999), one from Gekkota (Macey et al., 2005) two from Serpentes (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa et al., 1998) and 12 from Amphisbaenia (Macey et al., 2004). In addition, two representatives of the Iguanian family Iguanidae (Janke et al., 2001; Kumazawa, 2004) have been sequenced. Its' sister taxon, the Acrodonta, consists of seven monophyletic groups-the family Chamaeleonidae and six distantly related subfamilies of the family Agamidae (Macey et al., 2000b). Currently, the only acrodont lineage sequenced for the complete mitochondrial genome is Pogona vitticeps from the Australasian agamid subfamily Amphibolurinae (Amer and Kumazawa, 2005a). Here, we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Xenagama taylori, a North African representative of the agamid subfamily Agaminae and compare it to P. vitticepes. The agamid lizard genus Xenagama is distributed in a restricted region of the Horn of Africa in northwestern Somalia and adjacent eastern Ethiopia as shown in Fig. 1, with two species currently recognized (Moody, 1980; Wermuth, 1967). In addition, we report a segment of the mitochondrial genome of Bufoniceps laungwalansis spanning from nad1 to cox1. The monotypic genus Bufoniceps is restricted to the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan State, India and adjacent Pakistan (Fig. 1). Both Bufoniceps and Xenagama belong to the subfamily Agaminae and are poorly understood phylogenetically. These genera were not represented in the most recent molecular systematic study of the Agamidae (Macey et al., 2000b). Bufoniceps was originally described as a member of the West Asian genus Phrynocephalus (Sharma, 1978), and later placed in its' own genus (Arnold, 1992) because morphological data suggested it is the sister taxon to Phrynocephalus (Arnold, 1999). Xenagama was previously considered part of the Agama complex before the allocation of its member species to several genera (see, Moody, 1980).

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Available from: James A Schulte II, Jan 25, 2014
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    • "The oldest fossil records of unambiguous crown acrodontans consist of uromastycines from the early Eocene of Europe and Asia [31,47], Barbaturex in the late middle Eocene of Asia and possibly the lineage including extant Leiolepis from the late Eocene of North America [24]. The first occurrence of the clade including agamines, draconines and amphibolurines may be early middle Eocene [32], but the late middle Eocene age of the Pondaung record precedes the first occurrences of crown members of this clade, which are early Neogene in age, consistent with molecular divergence estimates [48]. "
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    • "Published sequences of Xenagama taylori, Takydromus tachydromoides, Calotes versicolor, and Chlamydosaurus kingii (Macey et al. 2006; Amer and Kumazawa 2007; Kumazawa 2007; Ujvari and Madsen 2008; Gen- Bank accession numbers DQ008215, AB080237, AB183287, and EF090421, respectively) were used to design 12 pairs of specific primers. "
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    ABSTRACT: The complete mitochondrial genome of the Yarkand toad-headed agama Phrynocephalus axillaris, the first complete mitogenome from the genus Phrynocephalus, was determined. The total length of this complete mitogenome is 17,937 bp, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 control regions (CRs). The overall base composition of the H-strand is 36.4% A, 26.0% T, 25.4% C, and 12.3% G. The gene arrangement and composition of the mitogenome are similar to those of other Agaminae lizards, albeit with one CR existing between the tRNA ( Thr ) gene and tRNA ( Pro ) gene and another CR containing 17 copies of 77-bp tandem repeats inserting between the tRNA ( Phe ) and 12S rRNA. The complete mitogenome sequence of P. axillaris provided fundamental data for resolving phylogenetic and genetic problems related to this species and genus Phrynocephalus.
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    • "Finally, the tRNAPro gene was translocated immediately 5' to the tRNAPhe gene in two representatives from Agaminae (P. sinaitus and X. taylori)[26]. Thus, these anomalies in the position and orientation of tRNAPro gene were found in a lineage specific manner. "
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