Platyzoa is a putative lophotrochozoan (spiralian) subtaxon within the protostome clade of Metazoa, comprising a range of biologically diverse, mostly small worm-shaped animals. The monophyly of Platyzoa, the relationships between the putative subgroups Platyhelminthes, Gastrotricha and Gnathifera (the latter comprising at least Gnathostomulida, "Rotifera" and Acanthocephala) as well as some aspects of the internal phylogenies of these subgroups are highly debated. Here we review how complete mitochondrial (mt) genome data contribute to these debates. We highlight special features of the mt genomes and discuss problems in mtDNA phylogenies of the clade. Mitochondrial genome data seem to be insufficient to resolve the position of the platyzoan clade within the Spiralia but can help to address internal phylogenetic questions. The present review includes a tabular survey of all published platyzoan mt genomes.
Keywords: Acanthocephala; Gastrotricha; Gnathifera; Platyhelminthes; Rotifera; Syndermata.
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