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Acoels are among the simplest worms and therefore have often been pivotal in discussions of the origin of the Bilateria. Initially thought primitive because of their “planula-like” morphology, including their lumenless digestive system, they were subsequently dismissed by many morphologists as a specialized clade of the Platyhelminthes. However, since(More)
Due to its proposed basal position in the bilaterian Tree of Life, Acoela may hold the key to our understanding of the evolution of a number of bodyplan features including the central nervous system. In order to contribute novel data to this discussion we investigated the distribution of α-tubulin and the neurotransmitters serotonin and RFamide in juveniles(More)
We have characterized the homologs of an actin, a troponin I, and a tropomyosin gene in the acoel Symsagittifera roscoffensis. These genes are expressed in muscles and most likely coexpressed in at least a subset of them. In addition, and for the first time for Acoela, we have produced a species-specific muscular marker, an antibody against the tropomyosin(More)
Acoelomorphs are bilaterally symmetric small marine worms that lack a coelom and possess a digestive system with a single opening. Two alternative phylogenetic positions of this group within the animal tree are currently debated. In one view, Acoelomorpha is the sister group to all remaining Bilateria and as such, is a morphologically simple stepping stone(More)
Xenacoelomorpha is, most probably, a monophyletic group that includes three clades: Acoela, Nemertodermatida and Xenoturbellida. The group still has contentious phylogenetic affinities; though most authors place it as the sister group of the remaining bilaterians, some would include it as a fourth phylum within the Deuterostomia. Over the past few years,(More)
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