Scientific article
Open access

Elongation Factor 1-Alpha Sequences Do Not Support an Early Divergence of the Acoela

Published inMolecular biology and evolution, vol. 17, no. 7, p. 1032-1039
Publication date2000-07-01
First online date2000-07

The phylogenetic position of the Acoela is a key problem in the understanding of metazoan evolution. Recent studies based on 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences have placed the Acoela in an extremely basal position as the sister group to all other extant triploblastic animals, suggesting that the phylum Platyhelminthes is polyphyletic. In order to test the results obtained with 18S rDNA, we sequenced elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1a) for the acoel Convoluta roscoffensis and five species of Turbellaria (two polyclads, Leptoplana tremellaris, and Prostheceraeus vittatus, and three triclads, Crenobia alpina, Schmidtea polychroa, and Girardia tigrina). Phylogenetic analyses of EF1a sequences show that the acoel sequences branch within the Platyhelminthes, in opposition to the 18S rDNA data. Moreover, comparison of the central variable region of EF1a shows similar sequence signatures between C. roscoffensis and the three triclad species. Although EF1a sequences fail to prove the monophyly of the phylum Platyhelminthes, they do not confirm the early divergence of the Acoela.

  • Elongation factor 1-alpha
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Convoluta roscoffensis
  • Acoela
  • Platyhelminthes
Citation (ISO format)
BERNEY, Cédric, PAWLOWSKI, Jan Wojciech, ZANINETTI, Louisette. Elongation Factor 1-Alpha Sequences Do Not Support an Early Divergence of the Acoela. In: Molecular biology and evolution, 2000, vol. 17, n° 7, p. 1032–1039. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a026384
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0737-4038

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