Data from: From incipient to substantial: evolution of placentotrophy in a phylum of aquatic colonial invertebrates
Ostrovsky, Andrew N. (2012), Data from: From incipient to substantial: evolution of placentotrophy in a phylum of aquatic colonial invertebrates, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b5k4s
Matrotrophy has long been known in invertebrates, but it is still poorly understood and has never been reviewed. A striking example of matrotrophy (namely, placentotrophy) is provided by the Bryozoa, a medium-sized phylum of the aquatic colonial filter feeders. Here I report on an extensive anatomical study of placental analogues in 21 species of the bryozoan order Cheilostomata, offering the first review on matrotrophy among aquatic invertebrates. The first anatomical description of incipient placentotrophy in invertebrates is presented together with the evidence for multiple independent origins of placental analogues in this order. The combinations of contrasting oocytic types (macrolecithal or oligolecithal) and various degrees of placental development and embryonic enlargement during incubation, found in different bryozoan species, are suggestive of a transitional series from the incipient to the substantial placentotrophy accompanied by an inverse change in oogenesis, a situation reminiscent of some vertebrates. It seems that matrotrophy could trigger the evolution of sexual zooidal polymorphism in some clades. The results of this study show that this phylum, with its wide variety of reproductive patterns, incubation devices and types of the simple placenta-like systems, offers a promising model for studying parallel evolution of placentotrophy in particular, and matrotrophy in general.