Gene 2019 Apr 16;705:55-59. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências - Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Sala 320, Rua do Matão, 277, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP 05508-900, Brazil.
The stingless bee Melipona bicolor is the only bee in which true polygyny occurs. Its mitochondrial genome was first sequenced in 2008, but it was incomplete and no information about its transcription was known. We combined short and long reads of M. bicolor DNA with RNASeq data to obtain insights about mitochondrial evolution and gene expression in bees. The complete genome has 15,001 bp, including a control region of 255 bp that contains all conserved structures described in honeybees with the highest AT content reported so far for bees (98.1%), displaying a compact but functional region. Gene expression control is similar to other insects however unusual patterns of expression may suggest the existence of different isoforms for the mitochondrially encoded 12S rRNA. Results reveal unique and shared features of the mitochondrial genome in terms of sequence evolution and gene expression making M. bicolor an interesting model to study mitochondrial genomic evolution.