Author(s): Passamaneck Y, Halanych KM
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Abstract Of the three major bilaterian clades, Lophotrochozoa has the greatest diversity and disparity of body forms and is the least understood in terms of phylogenetic history. Within this clade, small nuclear ribosomal subunit (SSU or 18S) studies have failed to provide resolution and other molecular markers have insufficient taxon sampling. To examine relationships within Lophotrochozoa, we collected and complied complete SSU data and nearly complete (>90\%) large nuclear ribosomal subunit (LSU or 28S) data totaling approximately 5kb per taxon, for 36 lophotrochozoans. Results of LSU and combined SSU+LSU likelihood analyses provide topologies more consistent with morphological data than analyses of SSU data alone. Namely, most phyla recognized on morphological grounds are recovered as monophyletic entities when the LSU data is considered (contra SSU data alone). These new data show with significant support that "Lophophorata" (traditionally recognized to include Brachiopoda, Phoronida, and Bryozoa) is not a monophyletic entity. Further, the data suggest that Platyzoa is real and may be derived within lophotrochozans rather than a basal or sister taxon. The recently discovered Cycliophora are allied to entoprocts, consistent with their initial placement based on morphology. Additional evidence for Syndermata (i.e., Rotifera+Acanthocephala) is also found. Although relationships among groups with trochophore-like larvae could not be resolved and nodal support values are generally low, the addition of LSU data is a considerable advance in our understanding of lophotrochozoan phylogeny from the molecular perspective.
This article was published in Mol Phylogenet Evol
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology