Transcriptome data reveal syndermatan relationships and suggest the evolution of endoparasitism in acanthocephala via an epizoic stage

Alexandra R. Wey-Fabrizius, Holger Herlyn, Benjamin Rieger, David Rosenkranz, Alexander Witek, David B. Mark Welch, Ingo Ebersberger & Thomas Hankeln
The taxon Syndermata comprises the biologically interesting wheel animals ("Rotifera": Bdelloidea + Monogononta + Seisonidea) and thorny-headed worms (Acanthocephala), and is central for testing superordinate phylogenetic hypotheses (Platyzoa, Gnathifera) in the metazoan tree of life. Recent analyses of syndermatan phylogeny suggested paraphyly of Eurotatoria (free-living bdelloids and monogononts) with respect to endoparasitic acanthocephalans. Data of epizoic seisonids, however, were absent, which may have affected the branching order within the syndermatan clade. Moreover, the position of...
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