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The enigmatic Placozoa part 1: Exploring evolutionary controversies and poor ecological knowledge

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posted on 03.12.2021, 03:29 authored by B Schierwater, HJ Osigus, T Bergmann, NW Blackstone, H Hadrys, J Hauslage, Patrick HumbertPatrick Humbert, K Kamm, Marc KvansakulMarc Kvansakul, K Wysocki, R DeSalle
The placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens is a tiny hairy plate and more simply organized than any other living metazoan. After its original description by F.E. Schulze in 1883, it attracted attention as a potential model for the ancestral state of metazoan organization, the “Urmetazoon”. Trichoplax lacks any kind of symmetry, organs, nerve cells, muscle cells, basal lamina, and extracellular matrix. Furthermore, the placozoan genome is the smallest (not secondarily reduced) genome of all metazoan genomes. It harbors a remarkably rich diversity of genes and has been considered the best living surrogate for a metazoan ancestor genome. The phylum Placozoa presently harbors three formally described species, while several dozen “cryptic” species are yet awaiting their description. The phylogenetic position of placozoans has recently become a contested arena for modern phylogenetic analyses and view-driven claims. Trichoplax offers unique prospects for understanding the minimal requirements of metazoan animal organization and their corresponding malfunctions.

History

Publication Date

01/10/2021

Journal

BioEssays

Volume

43

Issue

10

Article Number

e2100080

Pagination

11p.

Publisher

Wiley

ISSN

0265-9247

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The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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