Phylogenomic Analyses of Echinodermata Support the Sister Groups of Asterozoa and Echinozoa

Adrian Reich, Casey Dunn, Koji Akasaka, Gary Wessel, Hector Escriva
2015 PLoS ONE  
Echinoderms (sea urchins, sea stars, brittle stars, sea lilies and sea cucumbers) are a group of diverse organisms, second in number within deuterostome species to only the chordates. Echinoderms serve as excellent model systems for developmental biology due to their diverse developmental mechanisms, tractable laboratory use, and close phylogenetic distance to chordates. In addition, echinoderms are very well represented in the fossil record, including some larval features, making echinoderms a
more » ... valuable system for studying evolutionary development. The internal relationships of Echinodermata have not been consistently supported across phylogenetic analyses, however, and this has hindered the study of other aspects of their biology. In order to test echinoderm phylogenetic relationships, we sequenced 23 de novo transcriptomes from all five clades of echinoderms. Using multiple phylogenetic methods at a variety of sampling depths we have constructed a wellsupported phylogenetic tree of Echinodermata, including support for the sister groups of Asterozoa (sea stars and brittle stars) and Echinozoa (sea urchins and sea cucumbers). These results will help inform developmental and evolutionary studies specifically in echinoderms and deuterostomes in general.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119627 pmid:25794146 pmcid:PMC4368666 fatcat:i57namrlpfaqdjfmg3bqrjlsqy