Antheraea pernyi (Guérin-Méneville) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae), a well-known economically important insect, was domesticated from its wild type. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the wild type of A. pernyi was determined and compared for nucleotide variation with its domesticated type. The mitogenome of the wild type of A. pernyi is 15,537 bp in size, thus 29 bp smaller than that of the domesticated type. The gene content, order, and orientation of the complete mitogenome of the wild type are identical to those of the domesticated type, as are those of the other completely sequenced lepidopteran mitogenomes. A striking difference between the two mitogenomes was found in the A T-rich region because of the numbers of tandem repeat units. The wild type has five tandem repeat units, whereas the domesticated type has six. Comparative analysis of the two mitogenomes revealed a relatively lower level of sequence divergence (1.70%). Within the two mitogenomes, there are no significant differences in nucleotide substitution rate for the 13 protein-coding genes except for the nad4L gene, which is different from those differences observed between the domesticated silkmoth Bombyx mori (L.) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) and its wild-type ancestor Chinese B. mandarina Moore. The divergence time between the two Antheraea mitochondrias was estimated to be between 0.74 ± 0.13 and 0.97 ± 0.17 million years ago, based on the genes cox1 cox2 sequences. To our knowledge, this is the first report on sequence variation of the complete mitogenomes between the domesticated insect and its wild-type ancestor, within a single species.
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