Systematic Zoology

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Molecular Morphology of Mollusca

The phylogeny of bivalves (Mollusca) consisting of about 20.000 species is still uncertain. Conventional morphology and sequence analyses did not provide conclusive results beyond the four subtaxa Protobranchia, Pteriomorpha, Heterodonta and Schizodonta. This study is concentrated on the folding patterns of slowly evolving 18S rDNA molecules in expectation of finding "deep phylogenetic" information, i.e. pre-Cambrian or Cambrian structural signatures.