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A clear picture of animal relationships is a prerequisite to understand how the morphological and ecological diversity of animals evolved over time. Among others, the placement of the acoelomorph flatworms, Acoela and Nemertodermatida, has fundamental implications for the origin and evolution of various animal organ systems. Their position, however, has(More)
Molecular phylogenetic analyses have produced a plethora of controversial hypotheses regarding the patterns of diversification of non-bilaterian animals. To unravel the causes for the patterns of extreme inconsistencies at the base of the metazoan tree of life, we constructed a novel supermatrix containing 122 genes, enriched with non-bilaterian taxa.(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)
Sponges (phylum Porifera) are the phylogenetically oldest metazoa; as filter feeders, they are abundantly exposed to marine microorganisms. Here we present data indicating that the demosponge Suberites domuncula is provided with a recognition system for gram-negative bacteria. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-interacting protein was identified as a receptor on(More)
The phylogenetic position of the phylum Porifera (sponges) is near the base of the kingdom Metazoa. During the last few years, not only rRNA sequences but, more importantly, cDNA/genes that code for proteins have been isolated and characterized from sponges, in particular from the marine demosponge Geodia cydonium. The analysis of the deduced amino acid(More)
The 26,300-nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecule of the demosponge Suberites domuncula (Olivi, 1792), the largest in size yet found in Porifera, has been determined. We describe the second hadromerid sponge mitochondrial genome that contains the same set of 41 genes as the hadromerid sponge Tethya actinia, including trnMe(cau),(More)
The siliceous spicules of sponges (Porifera) are synthesized by the enzyme silicatein. This protein and its gene have been identified so far in the Demospongiae, e.g., Tethya aurantium and Suberites domuncula. In the Hexactinellida, the second class of siliceous sponges, the mechanism of synthesis of the largest bio-silica structures on Earth remains(More)
Sponges (phylum Porifera) of the classes Hexactinellida and Demospongiae possess a skeleton composed of siliceous spicules, which are synthesized enzymatically. The longest spicules are found among the Hexactinellida, with the stalk spicules (length: 30 cm; diameter: 300 microm) of Hyalonema sieboldi as prominent examples. These spicules are constructed(More)
Biomineralization is the process by which living organisms or organic matrices produced by them initiate and structure deposition of inorganic polymers/minerals. Deep-sea polymetallic nodules and crusts have recently been recognized as biominerals that are formed around bio-seeds; these deposits are of economic value. A detailed understanding of their(More)