Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom


Towards a DNA taxonomy of Caribbean demosponges: a gene tree reconstructed from partial mitochondrial CO1 gene sequences supports previous rDNA phylogenies and provides a new perspective on the systematics of Demospongiae

Dirk  Erpenbeck a1a2c1, Sandra  Duran a3, Klaus  Rützler a4, Valerie  Paul a3, John N.A.  Hooper a1 and Gert  Wörheide a2
a1 Biodiversity Programme, Queensland Museum, 4101 South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
a2 Department of Geobiology, Geoscience Centre Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
a3 Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, 701 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, FL 32960, USA
a4 Smithsonian Institution, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, MRC 163, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA

Article author query
erpenbeck d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
duran s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rützler k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
paul v   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hooper jna   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
wörheide g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


We present the most comprehensive cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene tree published to date for demosponges based on new sequences. The CO1 barcoding fragment is sequenced for 65 species from the Caribbean Sea, and its gene tree reconstructed. Although its deeper nodes are not particularly well-supported, the gene tree provides a variety of information for new phylogenetic patterns, as well as support for previously published 28S rDNA gene trees. In our analysis Halichondriidae cluster with Suberitidae, supporting previous 28S rDNA data. Chelae-bearing Poecilosclerida are monophyletic but most taxa lacking chelae in this dataset cluster more distantly. Haplosclerida are not resolved monophyletically under this fragment. While some species exhibit distinct barcodes, some genera contain species that share CO1 haplotypes.

(Received April 30 2007)
(Accepted August 19 2007)

c1 Corresponding author, e-mail: