Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 13–17 | Cite as

A Mitochondrial Intron in a Verongid Sponge

  • Dirk Erpenbeck
  • Ratih Aryasari
  • John N. A. Hooper
  • Gert Wörheide
Letters to the Editor


We discovered for the first time a mitochondrial intron in a non-tetillid demosponge, which sheds new light on the interpretation of mitochondrial intron evolution among non-bilaterian animals and has consequences for phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies. The newly discovered class 1 intron of Aplysinella rhax (Verongida) CO1 has an ORF for a putative LAGLIDADG-type and resembles other sponge and cnidarian mitochondrial introns. Our analysis of the Aplysinella rhax intron underlines that the patchy distribution of introns in sponges is caused by a combination of horizontal and vertical transmission. Further implications for CO1 phylogenetic and barcoding projects are discussed.


Porifera Mitochondrial intron LAGLIDADG Homing endonuclease Sponges Verongida 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Erpenbeck
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ratih Aryasari
    • 1
    • 4
  • John N. A. Hooper
    • 3
    • 5
  • Gert Wörheide
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences & GeoBio-CenterLudwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)MunichGermany
  2. 2.GeoBio-CenterLudwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)MunichGermany
  3. 3.Biodiversity ProgramQueensland MuseumSouth BrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of BiologyGadjah Mada UniversityYogyakartaIndonesia
  5. 5.Eskitis InstituteGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia
  6. 6.SNSB – Bavarian State Collections of Palaeontology and GeologyMunichGermany

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