MtOrt: An empirical mitochondrial amino acid substitution model for evolutionary studies of Orthoptera insects

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Abstract

Background: Amino acid substitution models play an important role in inferring phylogenies from proteins. Although different amino acid substitution models have been proposed, only a few were estimated from mitochondrial protein sequences for specific taxa such as the mtArt model for Arthropoda. The increasing of mitochondrial genome data from broad Orthoptera taxa provides an opportunity to estimate the Orthoptera-specific mitochondrial amino acid empirical model. Results: We sequenced complete mitochondrial genomes of 54 Orthoptera species, and estimated an amino acid substitution model (named mtOrt) by maximum likelihood method based on the 283 complete mitochondrial genomes available currently. The results indicated that there are obvious differences between mtOrt and the existing models, and the new model can better fit the Orthoptera mitochondrial protein datasets. Moreover, topologies of trees constructed using mtOrt and existing models are frequently different. MtOrt does indeed have an impact on likelihood improvement as well as tree topologies. The comparisons between the topologies of trees constructed using mtOrt and existing models show that the new model outperforms the existing models in inferring phylogenies from Orthoptera mitochondrial protein data. Conclusions: The new mitochondrial amino acid substitution model of Orthoptera shows obvious differences from the existing models, and outperforms the existing models in inferring phylogenies from Orthoptera mitochondrial protein sequences.

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Chang, H., Nie, Y., Zhang, N., Zhang, X., Sun, H., Mao, Y., … Huang, Y. (2020). MtOrt: An empirical mitochondrial amino acid substitution model for evolutionary studies of Orthoptera insects. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-020-01623-6

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