Unravelling host and symbiont phylogenies of halichondrid sponges (Demospongiae, Porifera) using a mitochondrial marker
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We present the first comparative phylogenetic analysis of a selected set of marine sponges and their bacterial associates. The Halichondrida form an important order in demosponge systematics and are of a particular interest due to the production of secondary metabolites. We sequenced a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene of the sponges and their bacterial associates, compared the reconstructed phylogenies and found evidence for radiation in coevolution. The tree of six host-species associations showed four supported cospeciation events between the sponges and the bacteria. In addition, we present the first gene tree of sponges based on a mitochondrial marker. The tree shows major congruences with previous morphological studies and suggests the applicability of a mitochondrial marker in sponge molecular systematics.
KeywordsRadiation Phylogenetic Analysis Sponge Secondary Metabolite Gene Tree
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