Mitochondrial capture enriches mito-DNA 100 fold, enabling PCR-free mitogenomics biodiversity analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Liu, Shanlin
  • Xin Wang
  • Lin Xie
  • Meihua Tan
  • Zhenyu Li
  • Xu Su
  • Hao Zhang
  • Bernhard Misof
  • Karl M. Kjer
  • Min Tang
  • Oliver Niehuis
  • Hui Jiang
  • Xin Zhou

Biodiversity analyses based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms have developed by leaps and bounds in recent years. A PCR-free strategy, which can alleviate taxonomic bias, was considered as a promising approach to delivering reliable species compositions of targeted environments. The major impediment of such a method is the lack of appropriate mitochondrial DNA enrichment ways. Because mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) make up only a small proportion of total DNA, PCR-free methods will inevitably result in a huge excess of data (>99%). Furthermore, the massive volume of sequence data is highly demanding on computing resources. Here, we present a mitogenome enrichment pipeline via a gene capture chip that was designed by virtue of the mitogenome sequences of the 1000 Insect Transcriptome Evolution project (1KITE, A mock sample containing 49 species was used to evaluate the efficiency of the mitogenome capture method. We demonstrate that the proportion of mitochondrial DNA can be increased by approximately 100-fold (from the original 0.47% to 42.52%). Variation in phylogenetic distances of target taxa to the probe set could in principle result in bias in abundance. However, the frequencies of input taxa were largely maintained after capture (R2 = 0.81). We suggest that our mitogenome capture approach coupled with PCR-free shotgun sequencing could provide ecological researchers an efficient NGS method to deliver reliable biodiversity assessment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Ecology Resources
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)470-479
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Biodiversity, Gene capture, Microarray, Mitochondrial genome

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