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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 15, 1992; 89(18): 8750–8753.
PMCID: PMC49998

Class-level relationships in the phylum Cnidaria: evidence from mitochondrial genome structure.

Abstract

The phylogenetic relationships of the Recent cnidarian classes remain one of the classic problems in invertebrate zoology. We survey the structure of the mitochondrial genome in representatives of the four extant cnidarian classes and in the phylum Ctenophora. We find that all anthozoan species tested possess mtDNA in the form of circular molecules, whereas all scyphozoan, cubozoan, and hydrozoan species tested display mtDNA in the form of linear molecules. Because ctenophore and all other known metazoan mtDNA is circular, the shared occurrence of linear mtDNA in three of the four cnidarian classes suggests a basal position for the Anthozoa within the phylum.

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