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Nat Commun 2013 Jan 01;4:1537. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2556.
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Xenoturbella bocki exhibits direct development with similarities to Acoelomorpha.

Nakano H , Lundin K , Bourlat SJ , Telford MJ , Funch P , Nyengaard JR , Obst M , Thorndyke MC .

Xenoturbella bocki, a marine animal with a simple body plan, has recently been suggested to be sister group to the Acoelomorpha, together forming the new phylum Xenacoelomorpha. The phylogenetic position of the phylum is still under debate, either as an early branching bilaterian or as a sister group to the Ambulacraria (hemichordates and echinoderms) within the deuterostomes. Although development has been described for several species of Acoelomorpha, little is known about the life cycle of Xenoturbella. Here we report the embryonic stages of Xenoturbella, and show that it is a direct developer without a feeding larval stage. This mode of development is similar to that of the acoelomorphs, supporting the newly proposed phylum Xenacoelomorpha and suggesting that the last common ancestor of the phylum might have been a direct developer.

PubMed ID: 23443565
PMC ID: PMC3586728
Article link: Nat Commun
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