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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)
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 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)
The current morphological classification of the Demospongiae G4 clade was tested using large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU rRNA) sequences from 119 taxa. Fifty-three mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) barcoding sequences were also analysed to test whether the 28S phylogeny could be recovered using an independent gene. This is the largest and most(More)
Despite expanding data sets and advances in phylogenomic methods, deep-level metazoan relationships remain highly controversial. Recent phylogenomic analyses depart from classical concepts in recovering ctenophores as the earliest branching metazoan taxon and propose a sister-group relationship between sponges and cnidarians (e.g., Dunn CW, Hejnol A, Matus(More)
The complete mitochondrial genomes of two reptiles, the common iguana (Iguana iguana) and the caiman (Caiman crocodylus), were sequenced in order to investigate phylogenetic questions of tetrapod evolution. The addition of the two species allows analysis of reptilian relationships using data sets other than those including only fast-evolving species. The(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)
The dichotomy between high microbial abundance (HMA) and low microbial abundance (LMA) sponges has been long recognized. In the present study, 56 sponge species from three geographic regions (greater Caribbean, Mediterranean, Red Sea) were investigated by transmission electron microscopy for the presence of microorganisms in the mesohyl matrix.(More)
Calcareous sponges (Porifera, Calcarea) play an important role for our understanding of early metazoan evolution, since several molecular studies suggested their closer relationship to Eumetazoa than to the other two sponge 'classes,' Demospongiae and Hexactinellida. The division of Calcarea into the subtaxa Calcinea and Calcaronea is well established by(More)