Buddenbrockia plumatellae

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Buddenbrockia plumatellae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
(unranked): Myxozoa
Class: Malacosporea
Family: Saccosporidae
Genus: Buddenbrockia
Species: B. plumatellae
Binomial name
Buddenbrockia plumatellae
O. Schröder, 1910

Tetracapsula bryozoides Canning, Okamura & Curry, 1996

Buddenbrokia plumatellae is a worm-like parasite of bryozoans whose taxonomic placement long puzzled biologists. It is now classified as one of the only two myxozoans of class Malacosporea on the basis of both genetic and ultrastructural studies. It was the first multicellular myxozoan identified and its vermiform shape initially gave strong support to the theory that the enigmatic group belongs among the Bilateria.[1][2] Five years later, this was refuted by a study of fifty genes from this same "worm", which had rarely been even seen since its discovery in 1851.[3] These 50 phylogenetic markers reveal that Buddenbrockia is closely related to jellyfish and sea anemones, typical members of a major animal group, the Cnidaria.[4] Because of the fast amino acid replacement rate of the nuclear proteins of Buddenbrockia, as compared to those of the remaining animals sampled in this study, only the use of a sophisticated tree-building approach (i.e., Bayesian inference) allowed to recover its cnidarian evolutionary affinities. One of the researchers talked about the problems encountered studying its morphology: “It has no mouth, no gut, no brain and no nerve cord. It doesn’t have a left or right side or a top or bottom – we can’t even tell which end is the front!” Because the myxozoans are so different from their nearest relatives, he concluded that “the worm-like body shape evolved at least twice from two completely different kinds of animal.”[3]


  1. ^ Okamura, B.; Curry, A.; Wood, T.S.; Canning, E.U. (February 2002). "Ultrastructure of Buddenbrockia identifies it as a myxozoan and verifies the bilaterian origin of the Myxozoa". Parasitology. 124 (2): 215–223. PMID 11860036. doi:10.1017/S0031182001001184. 
  2. ^ Montiero, Ana Sara; Beth Okamura; Peter W. H. Holland (June 1, 2002). "Orphan Worm Finds a Home: Buddenbrockia is a Myxozoan". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 19 (6): 968–971. PMID 12032254. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a004155. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  3. ^ a b "When is a worm not a worm? When it's a jellyfish.". The Oxford Trust. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  4. ^ E. Jiménez-Guri; H. Philippe; B. Okamura & P.W.H. Holland (6 July 2007). "Buddenbrockia Is a Cnidarian Worm". Science. 317 (5834): 116–118. PMID 17615357. doi:10.1126/science.1142024.