, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 57-70
Date: 01 Mar 2012

The phylogeny of halichondrid demosponges: past and present re-visited with DNA-barcoding data

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Halichondrid sponges play a pivotal role in the classification of demosponges as changes in their classification has had direct consequences for the classification of Demospongiae. Historically, the systematics of halichondrids has been unstable. During the 1950s, the order was divided into two subclasses, which were based on empirical and assumed reproductive data. Subsequent morphological and biochemical analyses postulated the re-merging of halichondrid families, but recent molecular data indicate their polyphyly. Here we review the classification history of halichondrid taxa, compare it with the current and predominantly ribosomal molecular data, and support the new phylogenetic hypotheses with mitochondrial data from DNA barcoding.