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Molecular phylogeny of coral-reef sea cucumbers (Holothuriidae: Aspidochirotida) based on 16S mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequence
Kerr, A.M.; Janies, D.; Clouse, R.M.; Samyn, Y.; Kuszak, J.; Kim, J. (2005). Molecular phylogeny of coral-reef sea cucumbers (Holothuriidae: Aspidochirotida) based on 16S mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequence. Mar. Biotechnol. 7(1): 53-60.
In: Marine Biotechnology. Springer-Verlag: New York. ISSN 1436-2228, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280390 [ OMA ]

    Phylogeny; Holothuriidae Burmeister, 1837 [WoRMS]; Isostichopus Deichmann, 1958 [WoRMS]; Stichopus Brandt, 1835 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    phylogeny; 16S rDNA; mtDNA; Holothuriidae; Isostichopus; Stichopus

Authors  Top 
  • Kerr, A.M.
  • Janies, D.
  • Clouse, R.M.
  • Samyn, Y., more
  • Kuszak, J.
  • Kim, J.

    Members of the Holothuriidae, found globally at low to middle latitudes, are often a dominant component of Indo-West Pacific coral reefs. We present the first phylogeny of the group, using 8 species from the 5 currently recognized genera and based on approximately 540 nucleotides from a polymerase chain reaction-amplified and conserved 3' section of 16S mitochondrial ribosomal DNA. Parsimony and likelihood analyses returned identical topologies, permitting several robust inferences to be drawn. Several points corroborated the Linnean classification. Actinopyga and Bohadschia each appear monophyletic and Pearsonothuria is sister to Bohadschia. Other aspects of our phylogeny, however, were not in accord with the taxonomy of Holothuriidae or previous speculations about the group's evolutionary history. Most notably, the genus Holothuria appears paraphyletic. Actinopyga and Bohadschia, sometimes held to be closely related to one another because of certain morphologic similarities, are only distantly related. The morphologically distinct Labidodemas, even thought to warrant separation at the family level, is nested well within Holothuria. A maximum parsimony reconstruction of ancestral ossicle form on the phylogeny indicated that, in addition to a probable bout of elaboration in ossicle form (the modification of rods or rosettes to holothuriid-type buttons), at least 2 rounds of ossicle simplification also transpired in which buttons reverted to rods or rosettes. Cuvierian tubules, defensive organs unique to numerous members of Holothuriidae, were probably present before the initial radiation of the family, but the reconstruction is ambiguous as to their ancestral function.

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