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A multigene molecular assessment reveals deep divergence in the phylogeny of Nemertodermatida
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Systematic Zoology. Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Enheten för zoologi; Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8809-6753
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Systematic Zoology. Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Enheten för zoologi; Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Here we present a comprehensive phylogeny of Nemertodermatida, a taxon of microscopic marine worms, based for the first on molecular marker with consideration of morphological characters. Our dataset comprises three nuclear genes and most nominal and putative species including recently described cryptic species; only species of the genus Ascoparia could not be obtained. We show that the two families of Nemertodermatida, Ascopariidae and Nemertodermatidae, are retrieved as separate clusters, although not in all analyses as sister groups. We also validate sequences published before 2013 against our dataset; some sequences are shown to be chimeric and have falsified prior hypotheses about nemertodermatid phylogeny, other sequences should be assigned new names. We also show that the genus Nemertoderma needs revision. 

Keyword [en]
Nemertodermatida, LSU, SSU, molecular phylogeny, cryptic species, Approximately Unbiased test
National Category
Zoology Biological Systematics
Research subject
Zoology; Molecular Biology; Systematic Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107587OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107587DiVA: diva2:748747
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-3913
Available from: 2014-09-22 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2014-10-28
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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