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Hyper-Cryptic Marine Meiofauna: Species Complexes in Nemertodermatida
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Systematic Zoology. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8809-6753
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Systematic Zoology. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 9, e107688Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nemertodermatida are microscopically small, benthic marine worms. Specimens of two nominal species, Sterreria psammicola and Nemertinoides elongatus from 33 locations worldwide were sequenced for three molecular markers. Species delimitation and validation was done using gene trees, haplotype networks and multilocus Bayesian analysis. We found 20 supported species of which nine: Nemertinoides glandulosum n.sp., N. wolfgangi n.sp., Sterreria boucheti n.sp., S. lundini n.sp., S. martindalei n.sp., S. monolithes n.sp., S. papuensis n.sp., S. variabilis n.sp. and S. ylvae n.sp., are described including nucleotide-based diagnoses. The distribution patterns indicate transoceanic dispersal in some of the species. Sympatric species were found in many cases. The high level of cryptic diversity in this meiofauna group implies that marine diversity may be higher than previously estimated. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 9, e107688
Keyword [en]
Nemertodermatida, marine meiofauna, marine biodiversity, cryptic species, species delimitation
National Category
Biological Systematics Zoology
Research subject
Systematic Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107585DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107688ISI: 000344317700074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107585DiVA: diva2:748743
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-3913
Available from: 2014-09-22 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Through the magnifying glass - The big small world of marine meiofauna: Morphology, species and evolution in Nemertodermatida
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Through the magnifying glass - The big small world of marine meiofauna: Morphology, species and evolution in Nemertodermatida
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Nemertodermatida is a group of microscopic marine worm-like animals that live as part of the marine meiofauna in sandy or muddy sediments; one species lives commensally in a holothurian. These benthic worms were thought to disperse passively with ocean currents, resulting in little speciation and thus wide or even cosmopolitan distributions. Individuals occur in low abundance and have few light microscopically available characters, which altogether may explain why only eight species had been described between the discovery of the taxon in 1930 and this thesis. We used molecular methods to address the diversity and phylogeny of this group for the first time. In a study of two nominal species with samples from all around the world, a high degree of cryptic speciation was discovered and several new species described. Diagnoses were based on molecular data complemented by morphological characters, where available. Given the patchy geographical record it can be assumed that the majority of the biodiversity of Nemertodermatida is yet to be described. A phylogenetic study including all but three known species revealed a deep divergence between the two families of Nemertodermatida but non-monophyly of the taxon was rejected by an Approximately Unbiased test.

Confocal laser scanning microscopic studies of several species show that the pattern of the body-wall musculature and the nervous system are specific for different genera. The muscular system of all species consists of a basic orthogonal grid with specific diagonal musculature and specialized muscles associated with body openings. The mouth appears to be transient feature in Nemertodermatida, developing only after hatching and being reduced again in mature worms. The nervous system is highly variable with very different ground patterns between the genera, such as an epidermal net, a centralized neuropile or a commissural brain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2014. 41 p.
Keyword
Nemertodermatida, Acoelomorpha, morphology, CLSM, Phalloidin, musculature, DNA, cryptic species, species delimitation, dispersal, taxonomy, phylogenetics, IHC, nervous system
National Category
Biological Systematics Zoology
Research subject
Systematic Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107590 (URN)978-91-7447-986-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-24, Stora Hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-3913
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4. Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-10-02 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2014-11-18Bibliographically approved

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