Neuroanatomy of Halobiotus crispae (Eutardigrada: Hypsibiidae): Tardigrade brain structure supports the clade panarthropoda
Article first published online: 18 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Morphology
Volume 273, Issue 11, pages 1227–1245, November 2012
How to Cite
Persson, D. K., Halberg, K. A., Jørgensen, A., Møbjerg, N. and Kristensen, R. M. (2012), Neuroanatomy of Halobiotus crispae (Eutardigrada: Hypsibiidae): Tardigrade brain structure supports the clade panarthropoda. J. Morphol., 273: 1227–1245. doi: 10.1002/jmor.20054
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 26 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 16 NOV 2011
- Danish Carlsberg Foundation
- Danish Natural Science Research Council
- National Science Foundation under the AToL program
The position of Tardigrada in the animal tree of life is a subject that has received much attention, but still remains controversial. Whereas some think tardigrades should be categorized as cycloneuralians, most authors argue in favor of a phylogenetic position within Panarthropoda as a sister group to Arthropoda or Arthropoda + Onychophora. Thus far, neither molecular nor morphological investigations have provided conclusive results as to the tardigrade sister group relationships. In this article, we present a detailed description of the nervous system of the eutardigrade Halobiotus crispae, using immunostainings, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and computer-aided three-dimensional reconstructions supported by transmission electron microscopy. We report details regarding the structure of the brain as well as the ganglia of the ventral nerve cord. In contrast to the newest investigation, we find transverse commissures in the ventral ganglia, and our data suggest that the brain is partitioned into at least three lobes. Additionally, we can confirm the existence of a subpharyngeal ganglion previously called subesophagal ganglion. According to our results, the original suggestion of a brain comprised of at least three parts cannot be rejected, and the data presented supports a sister group relationship of Tardigrada to 1) Arthropoda or 2) Onychophora or 3) Arthropoda + Onychophora. J. Morphol. 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.