Hi, I’m chef Kat and I’d like to welcome you to Baking with Brachiopods: a segment where we bring you new and exciting Brachiopoda- themed dishes. In today’s episode, we will be making Brachi-ownie Bites this episode will have two experts on Brachiopoda to help us better understand our main ingredient You’ll be needing a mixing bowl, you’ll also need a ventral spoon and a dorsal tray, the two parts of the two-part shell of a Brachiopod. So before I start to throw in ingredients, I’m going to bring in Kyla, our primary supplier for our Brachi-ownie Bites to help explain how she sources the ingredients So first off, we’re going to put in one cup of two-part valve sugar to make our Brachi-ownie Bites sweet Brachiopods have a two-part shell or valve and the valves are unequally split in ventral and dorsal valves. The two classes of brachiopods are Inarticulata and Articulata and the Inarticulata have valves that are attached by muscles, while Articulata has valves with a tooth-and-socket hinge. Our next step is to put a half cup of lophophore flour. Kyla, could you explain the unique characteristics of lophophores to our audience? Lophophores are unique structures of brachiopods that allow them to filter feed the ocean’s currents to capture plankton which is useful in their stationary state. The lophophore is located within the valves and has tentacles with cilia that suspend food. The Inarticulata have a lophophore held in place by coelomic pressure, which originates from the main body cavity called the coelom that creates pressure to give a framework and the Articulata have skeletal components to hold the lophophore. Next, we’re going to have Kyla add our bilaterally symmetric eggs. Brachiopods are known for having bilateral symmetry the way most of us have bilateral symmetry where our right side is a mirror image of our left side. And we’re going to also have her add the deuterostome unsweetened powder. Now, this ingredient is very important as it will provide the flavoring for our dessert. According to all of the studies we read, it is clear that no one definitively knows whether or not brachiopods are deuterostomes (where the anus develops before the mouth). However, all but one study suggests that the Brachiopods are placed in the deuterostome category and is not a protostome. Next up is a pinch of the plain salt. Brachiopods and salt complement each other well because brachiopods have a wide salinity tolerance. They can live in a variety of places, from sea beds to the Arctic waters. Finally, before we can put our Brachi-ownie Bites into the oven to bake, we have to add our stick of melted and unsalted pedicle butter. The pedicles allow for the Brachiopods to attach to substances or to anchor itself under layers. The Inarticulata have pedicles that are controlled by muscle bands and are not fixed in one location, while the Articulata have pedicles consisting of connective tissues and muscles and are fixed into place. For Inarticulata, pedicles are short connective tissues located on the posterior end. For Articulata, pedicles are usually tough and muscular and can secrete a sticky substance at the distal end. Now, our Bites are ready to be placed in our incubator, which allow our Brachi-ownie bites to independently fertilize. This means that gametes (the egg and sperm) are released externally into the open ocean and rely only on chance to merge and form a zygote. The odds of the gametes merging are slightly increased because brachiopods are organisms that congregate which means that they are often found in groups or clusters. It is important to note the different stages of development that a Brachiopod goes through. The fertilized zygote eventually becomes a free-swimming larva that is capable of feeding. In some species, this stage is as short as two days, where the larva floats through the open ocean and finally attaches its pedicles to a hard surface like a rock or it uses its pedicle to burrow into the sediment. Wow, thank you so much for enlightening us, Kyla. Join me in thanking her for being here with us today on Baking with Brachiopods. As our bites bake, I’m going to bring out our next expert, Jaslene, to discuss the origins of the Brachi-ownie Bites as well as possible alternatives for different ingredients if you are not able to consume Brachiopod ingredients. Brachi-ownie Bites are related to several other desserts. As demonstrated by the phylogenetic tree generated by our data matrix and observations, Brachiopoda is related to Echinodermata. Now, on the phylogenetic tree based on the 16 rRNA sequences provided to us, Brachiopoda has a monophyletic relationship with Mollusca. the closest relative to Brachiopoda according to these two trees is Mollusca. These trees differ by their sister taxa and clade positionings because of how the 16 rRNA is based on the DNA while the other is based on lab observations. These differences between the two trees could be caused by the way predators and prey hunt for food, or how the organisms within the phylum adapt to their environment as recorded in the data matrix. Oh would you look at that, Jaslene, our Bites are nearly ready! Now that we are almost done with our Brachio-wnie Bites, it is important to note just where these came from. Brachio-wnie bites have existed since the Paleozoic Era, approximately 358.9 million years ago (Williams, et. al, 2019). Now, there are approximately 450 species of brachio-wnie bites that exist today. The red portions of the phylogenetic tree indicate unclarity. Lophotrochozoan, which is a taxon Brachiopoda originated from, is a clade that is difficult to establish relationships among. Lophotrochozoan is originated from spiralia.
It is also unclear whether phoronids and brachiopods are separate or connected clades. Researchers hypothesize that phoronids are brachiopods without the common inner shell. The tree generated from our observations in the lab looks different than the published tree in the journal article because there is a large range of hypotheses that all suggest different brachiopod stem groups. A large amount of brachiopod stem groups lends itself to error in phylogenetic trees. That means our Brachi-ownie Bites are ready. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Baking with Brachiopods! wow, they look so good! I bet they taste even better.We hope you join us again next week as we will be preparing Brachio-brulee, a slightly saltier, and more lophophoric twist on your classic creme brulee