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Buddenbrockia Is a Cnidarian Worm

Science  06 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5834, pp. 116-118
DOI: 10.1126/science.1142024

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Abstract

A major evolutionary divide occurs in the animal kingdom between the so-called radially symmetric animals, which includes the cnidarians, and the bilaterally symmetric animals, which includes all worm phyla. Buddenbrockia plumatellae is an active, muscular, parasitic worm that belongs to the phylum Myxozoa, a group of morphologically simplified microscopic endoparasites that has proved difficult to place phylogenetically. Phylogenetic analyses of multiple protein-coding genes demonstrate that Buddenbrockia is a cnidarian. This active muscular worm increases the known diversity in cnidarian body plans and demonstrates that a muscular, wormlike form can evolve in the absence of overt bilateral symmetry.

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