Theory in Biosciences

, Volume 126, Issue 1, pp 35–42 | Cite as

The mitochondrial DNA of Xenoturbella bocki: genomic architecture and phylogenetic analysis

  • Marleen PersekeEmail author
  • Thomas Hankeln
  • Bettina Weich
  • Guido Fritzsch
  • Peter F. Stadler
  • Olle Israelsson
  • Detlef Bernhard
  • Martin Schlegel
Original Paper


The phylogenetic position of Xenoturbella bocki has been a matter of controversy since its description in 1949. We sequenced a second complete mitochondrial genome of this species and performed phylogenetic analyses based on the amino acid sequences of all 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes and on its gene order. Our results confirm the deuterostome relationship of Xenoturbella. However, in contrast to a recently published study (Bourlat et al. in Nature 444:85–88, 2006), our data analysis suggests a more basal branching of Xenoturbella within the deuterostomes, rather than a sister-group relationship to the Ambulacraria (Hemichordata and Echinodermata).


Xenoturbella Phylogeny Mitochondrial genome Basal deuterostomes 



The project was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under the auspices of SPP-1174 Deep Metazoan Phylogeny, Projects HA 2103/4-1, SCHL 229/14-1, STA 850/2-1, and STA 850/3-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marleen Perseke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Hankeln
    • 2
  • Bettina Weich
    • 2
  • Guido Fritzsch
    • 3
  • Peter F. Stadler
    • 3
    • 4
  • Olle Israelsson
    • 5
  • Detlef Bernhard
    • 1
  • Martin Schlegel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für ZoologieMolekulare Evolution und Systematik der Tiere Universität LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Institut für MolekulargenetikJohannes Gutenberg Universität MainzMainzGermany
  3. 3.Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für BioinformatikUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Lehrstuhl für Bioinformatik, Institut für InformatikUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.Museum of EvolutionUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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