“There are currently over 6 000 known species of Bryozoa. Earlier studies were based on visible characteristics of these animals, which is not sufficient to decide how the species are related to each other. To understand the evolution of bryozoans and how they are related to other animals, it is necessary to use molecular data, that’s to say DNA,” says Judith Fuchs of the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg.
When Bryozoa were discovered in the 16th century, they were regarded as plants. Later on they were found to have a nervous system, muscles and an intestinal system and were classified as animals. On their own, bryozoans are barely visible to the naked eye, but like coral animals all bryozoans build colonies that reach several centimetres in size and some species build colonies of over 30cm.
In her thesis, Fuchs has studied the evolution and relationships of Bryozoa using molecular data (DNA) from more than 30 bryozoan species, most collected in Sweden. The results show that this animal group developed from a common ancestor that probably lived in the sea. Two groups of Bryozoa evolved from this common ancestor: a group that stayed in the marine environment and another that evolved in freshwater. The DNA studies of the larval stage of Bryozoa can also contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of life cycles and larval stages of other multicellular animals.
Together with her supervisor, Matthias Obst, over a period of four years she has also taken part in the marine inventory of the Swedish Species Project along the west coast of Sweden. The collection of all marine bottom-living animals is based on more than 500 samples from 400 locations.
“We found as many as 120 marine bryozoan species in our waters, and many of them had not been previously known in Sweden. We also found a completely new species of Bryozoa. This is a very small bryozoan with characteristic spikes on its surface, which I have described in my thesis.”
To date, 45 per cent of the bryozoans collected in the inventory have been determined.
“Sweden has a very rich bryozoan fauna. On your next trip to the beach you might perhaps take a closer look at seaweed or pebbles. If you see a white covering with small holes in it, you have found a bryozoan colony for yourself.”
The thesis New Insights into the Evolution of Bryozoa - An Integrative Approach was publicly defended on 11 March. Supervisor: Matthias Obst, PhD, and Professor Per Sundberg.Journal: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2010, 56:370-379 Author: Fuchs J, Iseto T, Hirose M, Sundberg P, Obst M
Title: The first internal molecular phylogeny of the animal phylum Entoprocta (Kamptozoa)For further information please contact:
Scientists discover how the molecule-sorting station in our cells is formed and maintained
18.11.2019 | Tokyo University of Science
Pesticides: Improved effect prediction of low toxicant concentrations
18.11.2019 | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.
With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...
15.11.2019 | Event News
15.11.2019 | Event News
05.11.2019 | Event News
18.11.2019 | Earth Sciences
18.11.2019 | Life Sciences
18.11.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering