A metameric origin for the annelid pygidium?

V.V. Starunov, N. Dray, E.V. Belikova, P. Kerner, M. Vervoort, G. Balavoine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Background Segmented body organizations are widely represented in the animal kingdom. Whether the last common bilaterian ancestor was already segmented is intensely debated. Some annelids, despite their broad morphological diversity, are among the most homonomous metameric animals. The front end (prostomium) and tail piece pygidium) of annelids are classically described as non-segmental. However, the pygidium structure and development remain poorly studied. Results Using different methods of microscopy, immunolabelling and a number of molecular markers, we describe the neural and mesodermal structures of the pygidium of Platynereis dumerilii. We establish that the pygidium possesses a complicated nervous system with a nerve ring and a pair of sensory ganglia, a complex intrinsic musculature, a large terminal circular blood sinus and an unusual unpaired torus shaped coelomic cavity. We also describe some earlier steps of pygidial development and pygidial structure of mature animals after epitokous transformati
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Issue number25
StatePublished - 2015


  • Polychaeta
  • pygidium
  • segmentation
  • origin of metamerism
  • cyclomeric theory
  • colonial theory
  • Platynereis dumerilii

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A metameric origin for the annelid pygidium?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this