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Molecular systematics and phylogeny of holothurians

Dutch title: Moleculaire systematiek en fylogenie van de zeekomkommers
Reference no: P101/OZR433
Period: January 2000 till December 2002
Status: Completed

Thesaurus terms: Biodiversity; Phylogeny; Systematics; Taxonomy

Institute  Top 
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Faculteit Wetenschappen; Vakgroep Biologie; Laboratorium voor Ecologie en Systematiek (ECOL), more

Phylogenetic relationships between extant classes of echinoderms remain largely enigmatic for evolutionary biologists. The phylogeny of asteroids, crinoids, ophiuroids, and echinoids is largely resolved with morphological and molecular evidence. The phylogeny and evolution of holothurians is however mstly dependent on morphological evidence, whereby no consensus is reached. This study aims at revealing the phylogeny of the echinoderms and the holothurians through alignment of nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear protein-coding DNA. The results of this study will enable us to review the available systematics of the Echinodermata and Holothuroidea in particular? Such information is essential in the construction of conservation and managementsplans for this overexploited fauna. This molecular systematics will have as immediate result the identification of echinodermlarvae. This information is crucial for the assesment of populationstructures, since larvae are often the only indicators of recruitment. The studymaterial will include existing collections from East African and demanded collections from South Africa, Ecuador and Indonesia

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