Research Institute of the University of Barcelolna (IRBio). The discovery, which opens a new perspective on biodiversity throughout biological evolution, is based on the most extensive genomic study ever to reconstruct the evolutionary history of chelicerates, a group of more than 110,000 arthropods that includes spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks. Experts from the University of Bristol (United Kingdom) and the Natural History Museum in London, as well as the National University of Ireland, also participate in the study. An evolutionary history of more than 500 million years Arthropods are a highly diversified taxonomic group of jointed-legged invertebrates that currently constitute the majority of animal biodiversity. It is a very ancient biological

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taxon – there are arthropod fossils from the Cambrian Gambia Email List period – and its evolutionary history is thought to have started more than 500 million years ago. Among other general characteristics, they are bilaterally symmetrical organisms with a segmented body, and are endowed with an exoskeleton made up of proteins and chitin, with articulated parts, appendages, and sensory organs. With a global distribution in varied ecosystems —from the oceanic chasms to the troposphere—, some specimens may have a pollinating function (bees, butterflies) or have commercial interest (prawns, crabs), while others may be vectors of diseases (mites, mosquitoes). , lice, ticks). To understand their biological success – a huge diversity of species in very different

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environments – it is crucial to be able to know in detail the evolutionary history and genetic kinship of the different groups of arthropods. Mites and ticks: closer in evolution than previously thought Mites and ticks share many anatomical similarities, “and this has led to the belief that they formed a natural evolutionary group, traditionally called Acari,” explains Greg Edgecombe, an expert at the Natural History Museum in London. “However,” he says, “not all anatomists share this view, and genomic data had never supported this idea.” In the new work, the scientific team has studied ten species of mites and eleven of ticks – very similar – that make up the most complete biological sample analyzed so far at the genomic scale in the case of these biological groups.

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