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Avoidance and Potential Remedy Solutions of Chimeras in Reconstructing the Phylogeny of Aphids Using the 16S rRNA Gene of Buchnera: A Case in Lachninae (Hemiptera).


ABSTRACT: It is known that PCR amplification of highly homologous genes from complex DNA mixtures can generate a significant proportion of chimeric sequences. The 16S rRNA gene is not only widely used in estimating the species diversity of endosymbionts in aphids but also used to explore the co-diversification of aphids and their endosymbionts. Thus, chimeric sequences may lead to the discovery of non-existent endosymbiont species and mislead Buchnera-based phylogenetic analysis that lead to false conclusions. In this study, a high probability (6.49%) of chimeric sequence occurrence was found in the amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences of endosymbionts from aphid species in the subfamily Lachninae. These chimeras are hybrid products of multiple parent sequences from the dominant species of endosymbionts in each corresponding host. It is difficult to identify the chimeric sequences of a new or unidentified species due to the high variability of their main parent, Buchnera aphidicola, and because the chimeric sequences can confuse the phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. These chimeras present a challenge to Buchnera-based phylogenetic research in aphids. Thus, our study strongly suggests that using appropriate methods to detect chimeric 16S rRNA sequences may avoid some false conclusions in endosymbiont-based aphid research.

SUBMITTER: Chen R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4613194 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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