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Phylogeny of benthic Phyllodocidae (Polychaeta) based on morphological and molecular data

Journal article
Authors Jenny Eklöf
Fredrik Pleijel
Per Sundberg
Published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume 45
Issue 1
Pages 261-271
ISSN 1055-7903
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Zoology
Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 261-271
Language en
Keywords Phyllodocidae, Phylogeny, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA, COI, Morphology
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Morphology, Biological Systematics


A combined molecular (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA and COI) and morphological analysis of the benthic phyllodocids is presented for the first time. Nineteen phyllodocids and two outgroup taxa are assessed using parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. We demonstrate high degrees in homoplasy in the traditionally used morphological phyllodocid characters, and show that all the three current subfamilies Phyllodocinae, Eteoninae and Notophyllinae are non-monophyletic. The genera Eulalia, Eumida, Protomystides, Pseudomystides, Pterocirrus and Sige form a well-supported group, as does Mystides and Nereiphylla. Another clade with strong support includes Eteone and Paranaitis, although with Eteone nested within a paraphyletic Paranaitis. The relationship between these two taxa indicate that the unusual arrangement of modified cirri on the first segments in Eteone is due to a fusion of segment 1 and 2 where the cirri of segment 1 have been reduced. Eulalia is non-monophyletic and should be split, minimally into two groups. Our results are ambiguous regarding the ancestral phyllodocid condition of absence–presence of median antenna or nuchal papilla and uniramous or biramous parapodia, but shows that the absence of cirri on segment 3 (previously an apomorphy, for e.g., Mystides, Pseudomystides and Hesionura) is maximally homoplastic.

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