Improved phylogenetic resolution within Siphonophora (Cnidaria) with implications for trait evolution

Munro, Catriona; Siebert, Stefan; Zapata, Felipe; Howison, Mark; Damian-Serrano, Alejandro; Church, Samuel H.; Goetz, Freya E.; Pugh, Philip R.; Haddock, Steven H.D.; Dunn, Casey W.. 2018 Improved phylogenetic resolution within Siphonophora (Cnidaria) with implications for trait evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 127. 823-833.

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Siphonophores are a diverse group of hydrozoans (Cnidaria) that are found at most depths of the ocean - from the surface, like the familiar Portuguese man of war, to the deep sea. They play important roles in ocean ecosystems, and are among the most abundant gelatinous predators. A previous phylogenetic study based on two ribosomal RNA genes provided insight into the internal relationships between major siphonophore groups. There was, however, little support for many deep relationships within the clade Codonophora. Here, we present a new siphonophore phylogeny based on new transcriptome data from 29 siphonophore species analyzed in combination with 14 publicly available genomic and transcriptomic datasets. We use this new phylogeny to reconstruct several traits that are central to siphonophore biology, including sexual system (monoecy vs. dioecy), gain and loss of zooid types, life history traits, and habitat. The phylogenetic relationships in this study are largely consistent with the previous phylogeny, but we find strong support for new clades within Codonophora that were previously unresolved. These results have important implications for trait evolution within Siphonophora, including favoring the hypothesis that monoecy arose at least twice.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 10557903
Date made live: 13 Jul 2018 09:27 +0 (UTC)

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