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Manuel, M.; Borchiellini, C.; Alivon, E.; Le Parco, Y.; Vacelet, J.; Boury-Esnault, N. (2003). Phylogeny and Evolution of Calcareous Sponges: Monophyly of Calcinea and Calcaronea, High Level of Morphological Homoplasy, and the Primitive Nature of Axial Symmetry. Systematic Biology. 53, 311-333.
Manuel, M.; Borchiellini, C.; Alivon, E.; Le Parco, Y.; Vacelet, J.; Boury-Esnault, N.
Phylogeny and Evolution of Calcareous Sponges: Monophyly of Calcinea and Calcaronea, High Level of Morphological Homoplasy, and the Primitive Nature of Axial Symmetry.
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Because calcareous sponges are triggering renewed interest with respect to basal metazoan evolution, a phylogenetic framework of their internal relationships is needed to clarify the evolutionary history of key morphological characters. Morphological variation was scored at the suprageneric level within Calcispongia, but little phylogenetic information could be retrieved from morphological characters. For the main subdivision of Calcispongia, the analysis of morphological data weakly supports a classification based upon cytological and embryological characters (Calcinea/Calcaronea) rather than the older classification scheme based upon the aquiferous system (Homocoela/Heterocoela). The 18S ribosomal RNA data were then analyzed, both alone and in combination with morphological characters. The monophyly of Calcispongia is highly supported, but the position of this group with respect to other sponge lineages and to eumetazoan taxa is not resolved. The monophyly of both Calcinea and Calcaronea is retrieved, and the data strongly rejected the competing Homocoela/Heterocoela hypothesis. The phylogeny implies that characters of the skeleton architecture are highly homoplastic, as are characters of the aquiferous system. However, axial symmetry seems to be primitive for all Calcispongia, a conclusion that has potentially far-reaching implications for hypotheses of early body plan evolution in Metazoa.