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Phylogenetic position of the dicyemid mesozoa inferred from 18S rDNA sequences
Katayama, T.; Wada, H.; Furuya, H.; Satoh, N.; Yamamoto, H. (1995). Phylogenetic position of the dicyemid mesozoa inferred from 18S rDNA sequences. Biol. Bull. 189(2): 81-90
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Katayama, T.
  • Wada, H.
  • Furuya, H.
  • Satoh, N.
  • Yamamoto, H.

    The dicyemid mesozoa, obligate symbionts in the cephalopod kidney, are simply organized multicellular animals. They have long been the subject of phylogenetic debates. Some authors have suggested that dicyemids represent an offshoot from an early metazoan ancestor. Other workers considered them to be degenerated progeny of higher metazoa, possibly parasitic trematodes. We determined the almost complete nucleotide sequences of 18S rDNA in two species of dicyemid, Dicyema orientale and Dicyema acuticephalum, isolated purely from cephalopod urine. We compared these sequences with sequences determined in the present study from three flatworm species, as well as with a variety of eukaryote sequences obtained from databases. The phylogenetic trees reconstructed with the use of the neighbor-joining, maximum-parsimony, and maximum-likelihood methods indicated that the dicyemids belong among the triploblastic animals (Bilateria). However, we cannot firmly establish the position of the dicyemids within the Bilateria because we cannot ignore the problem of long branch attraction between the myxozoans, dicyemids, nematodes, and acoel flatworms. The present results favor the hypothesis that the dicyemids do not represent an early divergent metazoan group, but rather a group degenerated from a triploblastic ancestor.

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