Authors:Krisztián Frank, Endre Barta, Nóra Á. Bana, János Nagy, Péter Horn, László Orosz, and Viktor Stéger
Recently, there has been considerable interest in genetic differentiation in the Cervidae family. A common tool used to determine genetic variation in different species, breeds and populations is mitochondrial DNA analysis, which can be used to estimate phylogenetic relationships among animal taxa and for molecular phylogenetic evolution analysis. With the development of sequencing technology, more and more mitochondrial sequences have been made available in public databases, including whole mitochondrial DNA sequences. These data have been used for phylogenetic analysis of animal species, and for studies of evolutionary processes.
We determined the complete mitochondrial genome of a Central European red deer, Cervus elaphus hippelaphus, from Hungary by a next generation sequencing technology. The mitochondrial genome is 16 354 bp in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and a control region, all of which are arranged similar as in other vertebrates. We made phylogenetic analyses with the new sequence and 76 available mitochondrial sequences of Cervidae, using Bos taurus mitochondrial sequence as outgroup. We used ‘neighbor joining’ and ‘maximum likelihood’ methods on whole mitochondrial genome sequences; the consensus phylogenetic trees supported monophyly of the family Cervidae; it was divided into two subfamilies, Cervinae and Capreolinae, and five tribes, Cervini, Muntiacini, Alceini, Odocoileini, and Capreolini. The evolutionary structure of the family Cervidae can be reconstructed by phylogenetic analysis based on whole mitochondrial genomes; which method could be used broadly in phylogenetic evolutionary analysis of animal taxa.