Project Info

Molecular Evolution and Deep Phylogeny of Deuterostomia

The radiation of Deuterostomia in the Cambrian resulted in three major lineages, the Echinodermata, Hemichordata, and Chordata. The phylogenetic relationships between and within these subgroups have been a matter of long and controversial debate. The molecular approach applied until now did not contribute significantly to the problem. This leaves a deep gap in our understanding of metazoan relationships as well as in the evolution of fundamental morphological characters such as the chorda dorsalis and the gut with gill slits. Within the special research programme "Deep Metazoan Phylogeny" we aim to contribute to the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships of the major deuterostome lineages using sequence data and gene order evolution as a molecular tool. Overall, the most data are lacking in hemichordates. Thus, we will mainly focus on this group. Further, Expressed Sequence Tags will be isolated for future analyses of additional phylogenetically informative genes.


Prof. Dr. Martin Schlegel, Universitaet Leipzig, Leipzig

Dr. Detlef Bernhard, Universitaet Leipzig, Leipzig

Dr. Willi Xylander, Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkunde Goerlitz, Goerlitz