Phylogeny of Sabellidae (Annelida) and relationships with related taxa inferred from morphology and multiple genes
The monophyly of Sabellidae, the phylogenetic relationships of its lineages, and the composition of Sabellida have been debated for many decades. Most studies on sabellid phylogeny have focused on morphological features but little DNA work has been published to date. We performed analyses using maximum-parsimony methods that included 36 sabellids and members of previously related taxa. We integrated morphological and DNA sequence data to resolve relationships at different hierarchical levels (135 morphological features, fragments of the nuclear ribosomal RNA genes 18S and 28S, and the mitochondrial gene 16S). The results indicate the monophyly of Sabellida, including Sabellidae and Serpulidae. Monophyly of Fabriciinae and Serpulidae is assessed and the two groups are recovered as sister taxa, but with weak support. There is no significant support for the monophyly of Sabellinae. Relationships between members of the Sabellidae are still partially unresolved due to incongruence between partitions and low support for most clades. The evolution and transformation of certain characters within Sabellidae is explored.