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Mitigating Anticipated Effects of Systematic Errors Supports Sister-Group Relationship between Xenacoelomorpha and Ambulacraria
Ctr Theorisat & Modelisat Biodivers, Stn Ecol Theor & Expt, UMR CNRS 5321, F-09200 Moulis, France;Univ Montreal, Ctr Robert Cedergren, Dept Biochim, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada.
Max Planck Inst Mol Genet, Evolut & Dev Grp, Ihnestr 73, D-14195 Berlin, Germany;Dahlem Ctr Genome Res & Med Syst, Biol Envirnomental & Phylogen Grp, Max Planck Str 3, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.
Univ Barcelona, Dept Genet Microbiol & Estadist, Av Diagonal 643, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain;New York Univ, Sch Med, 435 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016 USA.
Ernst Moritz Arndt Univ Greifswald, Inst Math & Comp Sci, Bioinformat Grp, Walther Rathenau Str 47, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany.
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2019 (English)In: Current Biology, ISSN 0960-9822, E-ISSN 1879-0445, Vol. 29, no 11, p. 1818-1826.e6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Xenoturbella and the acoelomorph worms (Xenacoe-lomorpha) are simple marine animals with controversial affinities. They have been placed as the sister group of all other bilaterian animals (Nephrozoa hypothesis), implying their simplicity is an ancient characteristic [1, 2]; alternatively, they have been linked to the complex Ambulacraria (echinoderms and hemichordates) in a Glade called the Xenambulacraria [3,5], suggesting their simplicity evolved by reduction from a complex ancestor. The difficulty resolving this problem implies the phylogenetic signal supporting the correct solution is weak and affected by inadequate modeling, creating a misleading non-phylogenetic signal. The idea that the Nephrozoa hypothesis might be an artifact is prompted by the faster molecular evolutionary rate observed within the Acoelomorpha. Unequal rates of evolution are known to result in the systematic artifact of long branch attraction, which would be predicted to result in an attraction between long-branch acoelomorphs and the outgroup, pulling them toward the root [6]. Other biases inadequately accommodated by the models used can also have strong effects, exacerbated in the context of short internal branches and long terminal branches [7]. We have assembled a large and informative dataset to address this problem. Analyses designed to reduce or to emphasize misleading signals show the Nephrozoa hypothesis is supported under conditions expected to exacerbate errors, and the Xenambulacraria hypothesis is preferred in conditions designed to reduce errors. Our reanalyses of two other recently published datasets [1, 2] produce the same result. We conclude that the Xenacoelomorpha are simplified relatives of the Ambulacraria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 29, no 11, p. 1818-1826.e6
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Evolutionary Biology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-389606DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.009ISI: 000470902000041PubMedID: 31104936OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-389606DiVA, id: diva2:1338504
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EU, European Research Council, ERC-2012-AdG 322790Available from: 2019-07-23 Created: 2019-07-23 Last updated: 2019-07-23Bibliographically approved

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