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The origin of many of the defining features of animal body plans, such as symmetry, nervous system, and the mesoderm, remains shrouded in mystery because of major uncertainty regarding the emergence order of the early branching taxa: the sponge groups, ctenophores, placozoans, cnidarians, and bilaterians. The "phylogenomic" approach [1] has recently(More)
BACKGROUND Animal mitochondrial (mt) genomes are characteristically circular molecules of approximately 16-20 kb. Medusozoa (Cnidaria excluding Anthozoa) are exceptional in that their mt genomes are linear and sometimes subdivided into two to presumably four different molecules. In the genus Hydra, the mt genome comprises one or two mt chromosomes. Here, we(More)
  • Rob W. M. Van Soest, Nicole Boury-Esnault, Jean Vacelet, Martin Dohrmann, Dirk Erpenbeck, Nicole J. De Voogd +4 others
  • 2012
With the completion of a single unified classification, the Systema Porifera (SP) and subsequent development of an online species database, the World Porifera Database (WPD), we are now equipped to provide a first comprehensive picture of the global biodiversity of the Porifera. An introductory overview of the four classes of the Porifera is followed by a(More)
BACKGROUND Phylogenetic studies using expressed sequence tags (EST) are becoming a standard approach to answer evolutionary questions. Such studies are usually based on large sets of newly generated, unannotated, and error-prone EST sequences from different species. A first crucial step in EST-based phylogeny reconstruction is to identify groups of(More)
Halichondrid sponges play a pivotal role in the classification of demosponges as changes in their classification has had direct consequences for the classification of Demospongiae. Historically, the systematics of halichondrids has been unstable. During the 1950s, the order was divided into two subclasses, which were based on empirical and assumed(More)
The phylogenetic diversification of Hexapoda is still not fully understood. Morphological and molecular analyses have resulted in partly contradicting hypotheses. In molecular analyses, 18S sequences are the most frequently employed, but it appears that 18S sequences do not contain enough phylogenetic signals to resolve basal relationships of hexapod(More)
BACKGROUND DNA barcoding is a promising tool to facilitate a rapid and unambiguous identification of sponge species. Demosponges of the order Dictyoceratida are particularly challenging to identify, but are of ecological as well as biochemical importance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS Here we apply DNA barcoding with the standard CO1-barcoding marker on(More)
Many rDNA molecular phylogenetic studies result in trees that are incongruent to either alternative gene tree reconstructions and/or morphological assumptions. One reason for this outcome might be the application of suboptimal phylogenetic substitution models. While the most commonly implemented models describe the evolution of independently evolving(More)
In this study we report the first animal invasion, to our knowledge, into Lake Malawi. The colonizer is a non-native morph of the gastropod Melanoides tuberculata that differs substantially in external shell characters from co-occurring indigenous forms. However, because the species possesses extensive within-Africa geographical variation in shell(More)
BACKGROUND The mitochondrial (mt) genomes of sponges possess a variety of features, which appear to be intermediate between those of Eumetazoa and non-metazoan opisthokonts. Among these features is the presence of long intergenic regions, which are common in other eukaryotes, but generally absent in Eumetazoa. Here we analyse poriferan mitochondrial(More)