Analysis of synonymous codon usage pattern of genes in unique non-blood-sucking leech Whitmania pigra.

Research paper by Muhammad Salabat MS Khan, De-Long DL Guan, Li-Bin LB Ma, Juan-Ying JY Xie, Sheng-Quan SQ Xu

Indexed on: 27 Jan '19Published on: 27 Jan '19Published in: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry


Whitmania pigra is a unique, fluid-sucking ectoparasite and an anticoagulant medical leech. The codon usage bias (CUB) is the nonuniform usage of synonymous codons in which some codons are more preferred than others. Here, we performed a comprehensive analysis of CUB of genes in W. pigra, analyzing 140 780 transcripts, 59 553 unigenes, and 20 304 qualified coding sequences (CDSs) from the transcriptomic data of W. pigra. The effective number of codons values suggested that the CUB was low in these genes. We recognized profoundly favored codons in W. pigra that have a G/C-ending. Parity rule two-bias plots suggested that both mutation pressure and natural selection might have influenced the CUB. However, neutrality plots revealed that natural selection might have played a major role while mutation pressure might have played a minor role in shaping the CUB. We applied principal component analysis to relative synonymous codon usage values for divided CDSs based on GC content and codon-ending bases. Codon usage in W. pigra had a general inclination toward C-ending codons and natural selection rather than mutation pressure is the dominant force in the genetic evolution of W. pigra. To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe a complete codon usage analysis of W. pigra; this will increase the understanding of CUB and evolution in W. pigra. The analysis of codon usage patterns in W. pigra aids in understanding its evolution and genetic architecture. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.