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New perspectives on the ecology and evolution of siboglinid tubeworms

Hilário, A, Capa, M, Dahlgren, TG, Halanych, KM, Little, CTS, Thornhill, DJ, Verna, C and Glover, AG (2011) New perspectives on the ecology and evolution of siboglinid tubeworms. PLoS ONE, 6 (2). 1 - 14 . ISSN 1932-6203


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Siboglinids are tube-dweling annelids that are important members of deep-sea chemosynthetic communities, which include hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, whale falls and reduced sediments. As adults, they lack a functional digestive system and rely on microbial endosymbionts for their energetic needs. Recent years have seen a revolution in our understanding of these fascinating worms. Molecular systematic methods now place these animals, formerly known as the phyla Pogonophora and Vestimentifera, within the polychaete clade Siboglinidae. Furthermore, an entirely new radiation of siboglinids, Osedax, has just recently been discovered living on whale bones. The unique and intricate evolutionary association of siboglinids with both geology, in the formation of spreading centres and seeps, and biology with the evolution of large whales, offers opportunities for studies of vicariant evolution and the calibration of molecular clocks. Moreover, new advances in our knowledge of siboglinid anatomy coupled with molecular characterization of microbial symbiont communities are revolutionizing our knowledge of host-symbiont relationships in the Metazoa. Despite these advances, considerable debate persists concerning the evolutionary history of siboglinids. Here we review the morphological, molecular, ecological and fossil data in order to address when and how siboglinids evolved. We discuss the role of ecological conditions in the evolution of siboglinids and present possible scenarios of the evolutionary origin of the symbiotic relationships between siboglinids and their endosymbiotic bacteria.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2011 Hilario et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Institute of Geological Sciences (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2011 09:44
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 22:00
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016309
Status: Published
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016309
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43153

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