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Molecular phylogenetic position of hexactinellid sponges in relation to the Protista and Demospongiae
West, L.; Powers, D. (1993). Molecular phylogenetic position of hexactinellid sponges in relation to the Protista and Demospongiae. Mol. Mar. Biol. Biotech. 2(2): 71-75
In: Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology. Springer-Verlag: New York. ISSN 1053-6426, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Cell organelles; Comparison; DNA; Genes; Molecular structure; Nucleotide sequence; Nucleotides; Phylogenetics; Phylogeny; RNA; Coelocarteria singaporensis (Carter, 1883) [WoRMS]; Demospongiae [WoRMS]; Farrea occa Bowerbank, 1862 [WoRMS]; Hexactinellida [WoRMS]; [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • West, L.
  • Powers, D.

Abstract
    Although it is generally accepted that the first multicellular organisms arose from unicellular ancestors, the phylogenetic relationships linking these groups remain unclear. Anatomical, physiological, and molecular studies of current multicellular organisms with relatively simple body organization suggest key characteristics of the earliest multicellular lineages. Glass sponges, the Hexactinellida, possess cellular characteristics that resemble some unicellular protistan organisms. These unique sponges were abundant in shallow seas of the early Cambrian, but they are currently restricted to polar habitats or very deep regions of the world oceans. Due in part to their relative inaccessibility, their potential significance ot the early phylogeny of the eukaryotic kingdoms has been largely overlooked. The authors used sequences of the 18s ribosomal RNA gene of Farrea occa, a representative of the deep-water hexactinellid sponges, and Coelocarteria singaporense, a representative of the more common demosponges, and compared them with selected ribosomal RNA gene sequences available within the Protista. Using four computational methods for phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal DNA sequences, the hexactinellid sponge-demosponge cluster is most closely related to Volvox and Acanthamoeba.

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