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Reveillaud J.,Ghent University | Reveillaud J.,Center for Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution | Allewaert C.,Ghent University | Prez T.,Aix - Marseille University | And 6 more authors.
Invertebrate Systematics | Year: 2012

The identification of sponges that lack a mineral skeleton is always highly challenging, especially for Hexadella species, which are also fibreless. Recently, the yellow species Hexadella pruvoti Topsent was identified as a cryptic species complex while the pink coloured Hexadella racovitzai Topsent showed two highly divergent lineages. We performed a COI phylogenetic reconstruction using 27 new Mediterranean Hexadella samples in order to confirm the presence of divergent lineages within both shallow-water species. Specimens were described with an integrative approach combining morphological and cytological investigations, biochemical profiling and assessment of natural toxicity in order to identify diagnostic characters for each taxon. H. topsenti, sp. nov. is distinguished from H. racovitzai by its colour, its surface network shape, divergent secondary metabolite patterns and toxicity values. H. crypta, sp. nov. differs from H. pruvoti by a different encrusting growth form when alive, and by distinctively colouring the ethanol fixative solution. In addition, H. pruvoti and H. crypta show different types of cells with inclusions as well as distinct metabolic fingerprints. Natural toxicity values, however, do not permit the separation of H. pruvoti and H. crypta. Our work shows that only the use of a combination of complementary tools can provide relevant descriptions for some problematic taxa. © 2012 CSIRO.


Cardenas P.,University of Bergen | Cardenas P.,French Natural History Museum | Xavier J.R.,University of The Azores | Xavier J.R.,CSIC - Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: The Astrophorida (Porifera, Demospongiaep) is geographically and bathymetrically widely distributed. Systema Porifera currently includes five families in this order: Ancorinidae, Calthropellidae, Geodiidae, Pachastrellidae and Thrombidae. To date, molecular phylogenetic studies including Astrophorida species are scarce and offer limited sampling. Phylogenetic relationships within this order are therefore for the most part unknown and hypotheses based on morphology largely untested. Astrophorida taxa have very diverse spicule sets that make them a model of choice to investigate spicule evolution. Methodology/Principal Findings: With a sampling of 153 specimens (9 families, 29 genera, 89 species) covering the deep- and shallow-waters worldwide, this work presents the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the Astrophorida, using a cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene partial sequence and the 5′ end terminal part of the 28S rDNA gene (C1-D2 domains). The resulting tree suggested that i) the Astrophorida included some lithistid families and some Alectonidae species, ii) the sub-orders Euastrophorida and Streptosclerophorida were both polyphyletic, iii) the Geodiidae, the Ancorinidae and the Pachastrellidae were not monophyletic, iv) the Calthropellidae was part of the Geodiidae clade (Calthropella at least), and finally that v) many genera were polyphyletic (Ecionemia, Erylus, Poecillastra, Penares, Rhabdastrella, Stelletta and Vulcanella). Conclusion: The Astrophorida is a larger order than previously considered, comprising ca. 820 species. Based on these results, we propose new classifications for the Astrophorida using both the classical rank-based nomenclature (i.e., Linnaean classification) and the phylogenetic nomenclature following the PhyloCode, independent of taxonomic rank. A key to the Astrophorida families, sub-families and genera incertae sedis is also included. Incongruences between our molecular tree and the current classification can be explained by the banality of convergent evolution and secondary loss in spicule evolution. These processes have taken place many times, in all the major clades, for megascleres and microscleres. © 2011 Cárdenas et al.


Reveillaud J.,Ghent University | Reveillaud J.,Center for Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution | van Soest R.,University of Amsterdam | Derycke S.,Ghent University | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Small and cryptic sponges associated with cold-water coral reefs are particularly numerous and challenging to identify, but their ecological and biochemical importance is likely to compete with megabenthic specimens. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we use a combination of the standard M1M6 and I3M11 partitions of the COI fragment, partial rDNA 28S sequences and morphology to delineate small encrusting Plocamionida species. In total, 46 specimens were retrieved from seven shallow to deep-water coral locations, crossing 3,000 km along the European margins. Our work provides evidence that the Plocamionida ambigua f. tylotata and f. grandichelata can be considered valid species, whereas Plocamionida ambigua f. tornata corresponds to the species P. ambigua. Within the monophyletic group of Plocamionida, P. microcionides is shown as really divergent from the other taxa, and four putative new Plocamionida species are suggested. Conclusions/Significance: This study shows that the use of molecular and morphological information in an integrative approach is a powerful tool for the identification of sponge species, and suggests that an under-estimated biodiversity of sponges occurs in cold-water coral reefs. © 2011 Reveillaud et al.

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