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Mol Biol Evol. 2007 Dec;24(12):2723-9. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Spiralian phylogenomics supports the resurrection of Bryozoa comprising Ectoprocta and Entoprocta.

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  • 1Zoological Museum, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.


Phylogenetic analyses based on 79 ribosomal proteins of 38 metazoans, partly derived from 6 new expressed sequence tag projects for Ectoprocta, Entoprocta, Sipuncula, Annelida, and Acanthocephala, indicate the monophyly of Bryozoa comprising Ectoprocta and Entoprocta, 2 taxa that have been separated for more than a century based on seemingly profound morphological differences. Our results also show that bryozoans are more closely related to Neotrochozoa, including molluscs and annelids, than to Syndermata, the latter comprising Rotifera and Acanthocephala. Furthermore, we find evidence for the position of Sipuncula within Annelida. These findings suggest that classical developmental and morphological key characters such as cleavage pattern, coelomic cavities, gut architecture, and body segmentation are subject to greater evolutionary plasticity than traditionally assumed.

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