Phylogeny of sipunculan worms: A combined analysis of four gene regions and morphology Academic Article uri icon


  • The intra-phyletic relationships of sipunculan worms were analyzed based on DNA sequence data from four gene regions and 58 morphological characters. Initially we analyzed the data under direct optimization using parsimony as optimality criterion. An implied alignment resulting from the direct optimization analysis was subsequently utilized to perform a Bayesian analysis with mixed models for the different data partitions. For this we applied a doublet model for the stem regions of the 18S rRNA. Both analyses support monophyly of Sipuncula and most of the same clades within the phylum. The analyses differ with respect to the relationships among the major groups but whereas the deep nodes in the direct optimization analysis generally show low jackknife support, they are supported by 100% posterior probability in the Bayesian analysis. Direct optimization has been useful for handling sequences of unequal length and generating conservative phylogenetic hypotheses whereas the Bayesian analysis under mixed models provided high resolution in the basal nodes of the tree.

author list (cited authors)

  • Schulze, A., Cutler, E. B., & Giribet, G.

citation count

  • 34

publication date

  • July 2006