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Articulating "Archiannelids": Phylogenomics and Annelid Relationships, with Emphasis on Meiofaunal Taxa

Journal article
Authors S. C. S. Andrade
M. Novo
G. Y. Kawauchi
K. Worsaae
Fredrik Pleijel
G. Giribet
G. W. Rouse
Published in Molecular Biology and Evolution
Volume 32
Issue 11
Pages 2860-2875
ISSN 0737-4038
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Pages 2860-2875
Language en
Keywords phylogeny, polychaete, meiofauna, supermatrix, Errantia, Sedentaria, Aciculata, morphological, phylogenetic position, systematic position, morphological data, sequence, data, 28s rdna, evolution, polychaete, myzostomida, genome, rna, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Biology
Subject categories Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Annelid disparity has resulted in morphological-based classifications that disagree with phylogenies based on Sanger sequencing and phylogenomic analyses. However, the data used for the latter studies came from various sources and technologies, involved poorly occupied matrices and lacked key lineages. Here, we generated a new Illumina-based data set to address annelid relationships from a fresh perspective, independent from previously generated data and with nearly fully occupied matrices. Our sampling reflects the span of annelid diversity, including two symbiotic annelid groups (Myzostomida and Spinther) and five meiofaunal groups once referred to as part of Archiannelida (three from Protodrilida, plus Dinophilus and Polygordius). As well as the placement of these unusual annelids, we sought to address the overall phylogeny of Annelida, and provide a new perspective for naming of major clades. Our results largely corroborate the phylogenomic results of Weigert et al. (2014; Illuminating the base of the annelid tree using transcriptomics. Mol Biol Evol. 31: 1391-1401), with "Magelona + Owenia" and Chaetopteridae forming a grade with respect to all other annelids. Echiura and Sipuncula are supported as being annelid groups, with Sipuncula closest to amphinomids as sister group to Sedentaria and Errantia. We recovered the three Protodrilida terminals as sister clade to Phyllodocida and Eunicida (=clade Aciculata). We therefore place Protodrilida as part of Errantia. Polygordius was found to be sister group to the scaleworm terminal and the possibility that it is a simplified scaleworm clade, as has been shown for the former family Pisionidae, is discussed. Our results were equivocal with respect to Dinophilus, Myzostomida, and Spinther possibly owing to confounding long-branch effects.

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