Author(s): Rakova EV
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Abstract The present review analyses cytomorphological characters of the parasitic cnidarian Polypodium hydriforme, discriminating between those of bilateral (triploblastic) animals, common characters shared with the Myxozoa, and the unique characters of this species. Phylogenetic position of the group of parasitic cnidarians and of the class Polypodiozoa is discussed. A conclusion is made that the cytomorphological characters as well as 18S rDNA analysis of P. hydriforme and Myxozoa justify establishment of a new taxonomic group (a clade) of parasitic cnidarians (Endocnidozoa) uniting Polypodiozoa and Myxozoa (Zrzavý, Hypsa, 2003). The unique characters of P. hydriforme suggest that the phylum Cnidaria is more diverse than commonly supposed, and that P. hydriforme is not an aberrant cnidarian species but a relic organism, which might originally belong to the cnidarian class Polypodiozoa, which underwent reduction in the course of adaptation to parasitism.
This article was published in Tsitologiia
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology