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Systematics and evolution of Demospongiae

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Systematic and evolutionary studies of Demospongiae Sollas, 1885 are a very dynamic field of research. The scientific knowledge pertaining to Demospongiae systematics has been recently assembled in the collective book Systema Porifera. However, a general consensus among spongologists has not yet been achieved regarding this group and the phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae and between Demospongiae and other clades of Porifera and metazoans are still unresolved. The two traditional subclasses Tetractinomorpha and Ceractinomorpha are polyphyletic and it is proposed that they be abandoned. Since the publication of Systema Porifera, several works have suggested the polyphyly of Halichondrida and the paraphyly of Haplosclerida, as well as the monophyly of Tetractinellida (Astrophorida + Spirophorida), Keratosa (Dictyoceratida + Dendroceratida), and Myxospongiae (Chondrosida + Verongida + Halisarcida). Within all the classical orders, whether they are monophyletic or not, families and even genera have also been found to be polyphyletic. For example, Ancorinidae, Geodiidae, and Axinellidae are clearly polyphyletic. No single data set is able to resolve all the problems; thus, it is absolutely necessary that the classification of Demospongiae be examined from all angles and with as many data sets as possible.

Les études sur la systématique et l'évolution des Demospongiae Sollas, 1885 sont un champ de recherche très dynamique. La connaissance scientifique concernant la systématique des Demospongiae a été récemment rassemblée dans un ouvrage collectif Systema Porifera. Cependant il faut souligner qu'un consensus général entre spécialistes n'est toujours pas atteint sur ce groupe et que les relations phylogénétiques à l'intérieur de Demospongiae ou entre les Demospongiae et les autres clades d'éponges ou de métazoaires ne sont pas résolues. Les deux sous-classes traditionnelles Tetractinomorpha et Ceractinomorpha sont polyphylétiques et doivent être abandonnées. Depuis la publication de Systema Porifera, plusieurs travaux ont suggéré la polyphylie des Halichondrida, la paraphylie des Haplosclerida, la monophylie des Tetractinellida (Astrophorida + Spirophorida), Keratosa (Dictyoceratida + Dendroceratida) et Myxospongiae (Chondrosida + Verongida + Halisarcida). A l'intérieur des ordres classiques qu'ils soient monophylétiques ou polyphylétiques, des familles et même des genres se sont révélés être polyphylétiques (par exemple : les familles Ancorinidae, Geodiidae, Axinellidae). Aucun jeu de données seul ne permet de résoudre ces problèmes. Il est absolument nécessaire de réexaminer l'ensemble de la classification des Demospongiae sous toutes ses facettes, en utilisant le plus grand nombre possible de jeux de données.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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