Project Info

Molecular Phylogeny of the Arthropoda and the 'Ecdysozoa' Hypothesis

Arthropods are the most diverse animal phylum, but still uncertainties exist on both their exact position within the Protostomia and the relationships among arthropod taxa. Within the framework of the priority project "Deep Metazoan Phylogeny", we will contribute to the phylogenomic approach, adding ESTs from myriapods, chelicerates and an onychophoran species. In own phylogenetic studies, we will evaluate protostomian relationships by novel nuclear markers. We will use a large scale sequence comparison to select novel genes that are phylogenetically informative within the Arthropoda. The cDNAs will be amplified by RT-PCR from a large number of arthropod species. Arthropod phylogeny will be determined by various methods, using single gene and concatenated alignments from both DNA and protein sequences. Divergence times between arthropod taxa will be estimated using molecular clock and Bayesian methods. We will also specifically study the evolution of respiratory proteins (hemoglobins and hemocyanins).


Prof. Dr. Thorsten Burmester, Universitaet Hamburg, Hamburg