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J Mol Evol. 1998 Nov;47(5):597-605.

Phylogeny of Nematoda and Cephalorhyncha derived from 18S rDNA.

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  • 1Section of Evolutionary Biochemistry, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physicochemical Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow 119899, Russia.


Phylogenetic relationships of nematodes, nematomorphs, kinorhynchs, priapulids, and some other major groups of invertebrates were studied by 18S rRNA gene sequencing. Kinorhynchs and priapulids form the monophyletic Cephalorhyncha clade that is the closest to the coelomate animals. When phylogenetic trees were generated by different methods, the position of nematomorphs appeared to be unstable. Inclusion of Enoplus brevis, a representative of a slowly evolving nematode lineage, in the set of analyzed species refutes the tree patterns, previously derived from molecular data, where the nematodes appear as a basal bilateral lineage. The nematodes seem to be closer to the coelomate animals than was speculated earlier. According to the results obtained, nematodes, nematomorphs, tardigrades, arthropods, and cephalorhynchs are a paraphyletic association of closely related taxa.

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