In this chapter, the complete mitochondrial genome of Guatemalan potato moth, Tecia solanivora (Povolny, 1973) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is presented as a model to understand how to characterize and study a mitogenome in insects. It was sequenced, analyzed, and compared with other lepidopteran insects. T. solanivora mitogenome is a circular double-stranded molecule, typically found in insects and containing 37 genes, all them well described over the other lepidopteran mitogenomes sequenced. Interestingly, in this mitogenome was found a gene arrangement in the tRNA-Met gene different from the ancestral arrangement, but commonly present in insect mitogenomes. Other important characteristics are the high A + T-biased and negative AT- and GC-skews contents, but also unusual canonical start codons in 12 protein-coding genes and an incomplete stop codon in the cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene consisting of just a Thymine. Another common feature shared with lepidopteran mitogenomes is the A + T-rich region. It is characterized by having 325 bb, the ‘ATAGA’ motif, a 17 bp poly (T) stretch and a (AT)8 element preceded by the ‘ATTTA’ motif. Likewise, this mitogenome has 21 intergenic spacer regions. In addition, an update about other recent mitogenomes research done mainly over lepidopteran insects considered crop pests is presented. On the other hand, a novel development based on induced mutations by CRISPR-Cas9 in the mitogenomes seeking applicable capability for pest control is shown. The utility of this study is to improve scientific databases and support future studies of population genetic in lepidopteran.
Part of the book: Lepidoptera