Redmond, N.E.; Raleigh, J.; Van Soest, R.W.M.; Kelly, M.; Travers, S.A.A.; Bradshaw, B.; Vartia, S.; Stephens, K.M.; McCormack, G.P.
Phylogenetic Relationships of the Marine Haplosclerida (Phylum Porifera) Employing Ribosomal (28S rRNA) and Mitochondrial (cox1, nad1) Gene Sequence Data
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The systematics of the poriferan Order Haplosclerida (Class Demospongiae) has been under scrutiny for a number of years without resolution. Molecular data suggests that the order needs revision at all taxonomic levels. Here, we provide a comprehensive view of the phylogenetic relationships of the marine Haplosclerida using many species from across the
order, and three gene regions. Gene trees generated using 28S rRNA, nad1 and cox1 gene data, under maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches, are highly congruent and suggest the presence of four clades. Clade A is comprised primarily of species of Haliclona and Callyspongia, and clade B is comprised of H. simulans and H. vansoesti (Family Chalinidae), Amphimedon queenslandica (Family Niphatidae) and Tabulocalyx (Family Phloeodictyidae), Clade C is comprised primarily of members of the Families Petrosiidae and Niphatidae, while Clade D is comprised of Aka species. The polyphletic nature of the suborders, families and genera described in other studies is also found here.