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Mitochondrial genome assembly and comparative mitogenomics of five snake mackerels (Perciformes, Gempylidae).
  • Siphesihle Mthethwa,
  • Aletta Bester-van der Merwe,
  • Rouvay Roodt-Wilding
Siphesihle Mthethwa
Stellenbosch University Faculty of AgriSciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Aletta Bester-van der Merwe
Stellenbosch University
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Rouvay Roodt-Wilding
Stellenbosch University Faculty of AgriSciences
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The Gempylidae (snake mackerels) family, belonging to the order Perciformes, consists of about 24 species described in 16 genera primarily distributed in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas worldwide. Despite substantial research on this family utilizing morphological and molecular approaches, taxonomy categorization in this group has remained puzzling for decades prompting the need for further investigation into the underlying evolutionary history among the gempylids using molecular tools. In this study, we characterized and compared eight complete mitochondrial genomes for five Gempylidae species [Neoepinnula minetomai, Neoepinnula orientalis, Rexea antefurcata, Rexea prometheoides, and Thyrsites atun] using Ion-Torrent sequencing. Using Bayesian Inference and Maximum-Likelihood tree search methods, we investigated the evolutionary relationships of seventeen Gempylidae species using mitogenome data. In addition, we estimate divergence times for extant gempylids. We identified two major clades that formed approximately 48.05 (35.89 – 52.04 mya) million years ago; Gempylidae 1 [Lepidocybium flavobrunneum, Ruvettus pretiosus, Neoepinnula minetomai, Neoepinnula orientalis, and Epinnula magistralis], and Gempylidae 2 [Thyrsites atun, Promethichthys prometheus, Nealotus tripes, Diplospinus multistriatus, Paradiplospinus antarcticus, Rexea antefurcata, Rexea nakamurai, Rexea prometheoides, Rexea solandri, Thyrsitoides marleyi, Gempylus serpens, and Nesiarchus nasutus]. The present study demonstrates the superior performance of complete mitogenome data compared to individual genes in phylogenetic reconstruction. In addition to Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, and Cytochrome b, which are frequently employed in phylogenetic investigations, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 provided adequate resolving power. Analyses of selection pressure revealed purifying selection is predominant in Gempylidae mitogenomes. By including T. atun individuals from different regions we demonstrate the potential for the application of mitogenomes in species phylogeography.
09 Feb 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
10 Feb 2023Submission Checks Completed
10 Feb 2023Assigned to Editor
16 Feb 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 Mar 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Jun 20231st Revision Received
03 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
03 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
03 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
06 Jun 20232nd Revision Received
07 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
07 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
07 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Accept