Re-evaluating Loricate Choanoflagellate Phylogenetics: Molecular Evidence Points to the Paraphyly of Tectiform Species

Martin Carr, Barry S.c. Leadbeater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffLorica-bearing choanoflagellates belong to the order Acanthoecida, a taxon which has been consistently recovered as monophyletic in molecular phylogenies. Based upon differences in lorica development and morphology, as well as the presence or absence of a motile dispersal stage, species are labelled as either nudiform or tectiform. Whilst Acanthoecida is robustly resolved in molecular phylogenies, the placement of the root of the clade is less certain with two different positions identified in past studies. One recovered root has been placed between the nudiform family Acanthoecidae and the tectiform family Stephanoecidae. An alternative root placement falls within the tectiform species, recovering the monophyletic Acanthoecidae nested within a paraphyletic Stephanoecidae. Presented here is a 14-gene phylogeny, based upon nucleotide and amino acid sequences, which strongly supports tectiform paraphyly. The horizontal transfer of a ribosomal protein gene, from a possible SAR donor, into a subset of acanthoecid species provides further, independent, support for this root placement. Differing patterns of codon usage bias across the choanoflagellates are proposed as the cause of artefactual phylogenetic signals that lead to the recovery of tectiform monophyly.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125924
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Early online date31 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Re-evaluating Loricate Choanoflagellate Phylogenetics: Molecular Evidence Points to the Paraphyly of Tectiform Species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this