Evolution

Humans, Flies, and Worms

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Science  14 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5575, pp. 1931
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5575.1931b

Nematode worms are an abundant and diverse group of organisms that inhabit a wide range of ecosystems, and Caenorhabditis elegans is used widely as model system. Nevertheless, the evolutionary relationships of nematodes to other animal groups have remained controversial. Earlier analyses based on morphology and developmental patterns placed nematodes at a distance from animal groups with true body cavities (coeloms), but more recent analyses of ribosomal gene sequences instead implied closer links to arthropods—a coelomate group—and led to the proposal of a superphylum of molting animals or Ecdysozoa. Blair et al. compared sequences of more than 100 nuclear proteins, and their analyses support the traditional model of nematode phylogenetic relationships, placing arthropods closer to vertebrates than to nematodes, and nematodes distant from both. — AMS

BMC Evol. Biol.2, 7 (2002).

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