Zoological Studies

Vol. 43 No. 4, 2004

Variable Numbers of Tandem Repeats (VNTRs), Heteroplasmy, and Sequence Variation of the Mitochondrial Control Region in the Threespot Dascyllus, Dascyllus trimaculatus (Perciformes: Pomacentridae)

Chaolun Allen Chen1,2, Maria Carmen Anonuevo Ablan3, John Williams McManus3, Johann Diepernk Bell3, Vo Si Tuan4, Annadel Sarmiento Cabanban5, Kwang-Tsao Shao1,*

1Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan 115
2Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan 106
3WorldFish Center, Penang 11960, Malaysia
4Department of Marine Living Resources, Institute of Oceanography, Nha Trang, Vietnam
5Borneo Marine Research Laboratory, University of Malaysia, Sabah 88999, Malaysia

Chaolun Allen Chen, Maria Carmen Anonuevo Ablan, John Williams McManus, Johann Diepernk Bell, Vo Si Tuan, Annadel Sarmiento Cabanban, Kwang-Tsao Shao (2004) The primary structure of the Dascyllus trimaculatus mitochondrial (mt) control region was determined, and conserved features were identified based on sequence comparisons to other teleostean fish species. Three termination-associated sequence (TAS) motifs, a central conserved sequence block (CSB), and a pyrimidine tract were identified, indicating that the organization of the mt control region in D. trimaculatus is similar to those reported for other teleosts. However, 2 sets of variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs), denoted R1 and R2, which simultaneously occur at both the 5' - and 3' -ends of the mt control region are first reported herein in teleost fish. Analysis of amplification of the VNTRs indicated that heteroplasmy is common for both sets of VNTRs. VNTRs also respond to sequence length variation of the D. trimaculatus mt control region. A relatively high proportion of VNTR copy number variations and heteroplasmy indicate the potential utility of VNTRs as markers for assessing three-spot dascyllus population-level variability.

Key words: Three-spot dascyllus, Mitochondrial control region, VNTR, Heteroplasmy, Teleost.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-2-27899545. Fax: 886-2-27858059. E-mail: zoskt@gate.sinica.edu.tw