The family Pyxicephalidae including two subfamilies (Cacosterninae and Pyxicephalinae) is an ecologically important group of frogs distributed in sub- Saharan Africa. However, its phylogenetic position among the Anura has remained uncertain. The present study determined the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Pyxicephalus adspersus, the first representative mitochondrial genome from the Pyxicephalinae, and reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships within Ranoidae using 10 mitochondrial protein-coding genes of 59 frog species. The P. adspersus mitochondrial genome showed major gene rearrangement and an exceptionally long length that is not shared with other Ranoidae species. The genome is 24,317 bp in length, and contains 15 protein-coding genes (including extra COX3 and Cyt b genes), four rRNA genes (including extra 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA genes), 29 tRNA genes (including extra tRNALeu (UAG), tRNALeu (UUR), tRNAThr, tRNAPro, tRNAPhe, tRNAVal, tRNAGln genes) and two control regions (CRs). The Dimer- Mitogenome and Tandem duplication and random loss models were used to explain these gene arrangements. Finally, both Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses supported the conclusion that Pyxicephalidae was monophyletic and that Pyxicephalidae was the sister clade of (Petropedetidae + Ptychadenidae).

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Department of Biology

Cai, Y.-Y. (Yin-Yin), Shen, S.-Q. (Shi-Qi), Lu, L.-X. (Li-Xu), Storey, K, Yu, D.-N. (Dan-Na), & Zhang, J.-Y. (Jia-Yong). (2019). The complete mitochondrial genome of Pyxicephalus adspersus: High gene rearrangement and phylogenetics of one of the world's largest frogs. PeerJ, 2019(8). doi:10.7717/peerj.7532