This study determined the first complete mitochondrial genome of a damselfly, Euphaea formosa (Insecta: Odonata: Zygoptera), and reconstructed a phylogeny based on thirteen protein-coding genes of mitochondrial genomes in twenty-five representative hexapods to examine the relationships among the basal Pterygota. The damselfly's mitochondrial genome is a circular molecule of 15,700 bp long, and contains the entire set of thirty-seven genes typically found in insects. The gene arrangement, nucleotide composition, and codon usage pattern of the mitochondrial genome are similar across the three odonate species, suggesting a conserved genome evolution within the Odonata. The presence of the intergenic spacer s5 likely represents a synapomorphy for the dragonflies (Anisoptera). Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses of both nucleotide and amino acid sequences cannot support the three existing phylogenetic hypotheses of the basal Pterygota (Palaeoptera, Metapterygota, and Chiastomyaria). In contrast, the phylogenetic results indicate an alternative hypothesis of a strongly supported basal Odonata and a sister relationship of the Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera. The unexpected sister Ephemeroptera. +. Plecoptera clade, which contradicts with the widely accepted hypothesis of a monophyletic Neoptera, requires further analyses with additional mitochondrial genome sampling at the base of the Neoptera.
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