Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(4):561-579. doi:10.7150/ijbs.3540

Research Paper

Characterization of the Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis and Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Huan-Na Chai 1, Yu-Zhou Du 1✉, Bao-Ping Zhai 2

1. Institute of Applied Entomology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China;
2. Department of Entomology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.

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Chai HN, Du YZ, Zhai BP. Characterization of the Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis and Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(4):561-579. doi:10.7150/ijbs.3540. Available from

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The complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis and Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) were determined and analyzed. The circular genomes were 15,388 bp long for C. medinalis and 15,395 bp long for C. suppressalis. Both mitogenomes contained 37 genes, with gene order similar to that of other lepidopterans. Notably, 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs) utilized the standard ATN, but the cox1 gene used CGA as the initiation codon; the cox1, cox2, and nad4 genes in the two mitogenomes had the truncated termination codons T, T, and TA, respectively, but the nad5 gene was found to use T as the termination codon only in the C. medinalis mitogenome. Additionally, the codon distribution and Relative Synonymous Codon Usage of the 13 PCGs in the C. medinalis mitogenome were very different from those in other pyralid moth mitogenomes. Most of the tRNA genes had typical cloverleaf secondary structures. However, the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm of the trnS1(AGN) gene did not form a stable stem-loop structure. Forty-nine helices in six domains, and 33 helices in three domains were present in the secondary structures of the rrnL and rrnS genes of the two mitogenomes, respectively. There were four major intergenic spacers, except for the A+T-rich region, spanning at least 12 bp in the two mitogenomes. The A+T-rich region contained an 'ATAGT(A)'-like motif followed by a poly-T stretch in the two mitogenomes. In addition, there were a potential stem-loop structure, a duplicated 25-bp repeat element, and a microsatellite '(TA)13' observed in the A+T-rich region of the C. medinalis mitogenome. A poly-T motif, a duplicated 31-bp repeat element, and a 19-bp triplication were found in the C. suppressalis mitogenome. However, there are many differences in the A+T-rich regions between the C. suppressalis mitogenome sequence in the present study and previous reports. Finally, the phylogenetic relationships of these insects were reconstructed based on amino acid sequences of mitochondrial 13 PCGs using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods. These molecular-based phylogenies support the traditional morphologically based view of relationships within the Pyralidae.

Keywords: Mitochondrial genome, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, Chilo suppressalis, Lepidoptera, Pyralidae, phylogenetic relationship.