Velvet worm development links myriapods with chelicerates

Georg Mayer, Paul M Whitington
Proceedings. Biological Sciences 2009 October 22, 276 (1673): 3571-9
Despite the advent of modern molecular and computational methods, the phylogeny of the four major arthropod groups (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, Crustacea and Hexapoda, including the insects) remains enigmatic. One particular challenge is the position of myriapods as either the closest relatives to chelicerates (Paradoxopoda/Myriochelata hypothesis), or to crustaceans and hexapods (Mandibulata hypothesis). While neither hypothesis receives conclusive support from molecular analyses, most morphological studies favour the Mandibulata concept, with the mandible being the most prominent feature of this group. Although no morphological evidence was initially available to support the Paradoxopoda hypothesis, a putative synapomorphy of chelicerates and myriapods has recently been put forward based on studies of neurogenesis. However, this and other morphological characters remain of limited use for phylogenetic systematics owing to the lack of data from an appropriate outgroup. Here, we show that several embryonic characters are synapomorphies uniting the chelicerates and myriapods, as revealed by an outgroup comparison with the Onychophora or velvet worms. Our findings, thus provide, to our knowledge, first morphological/embryological support for the monophyly of the Paradoxopoda and suggest that the mandible might have evolved twice within the arthropods.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"