Probing the relationships of the branchiopod crustaceans.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2006 May; 39(2):491-502.MP
The Branchiopoda display extraordinary variation in body form, even within the morphologically diverse crustaceans. To fully understand the origin and evolution of these morphological reconfigurations, a robust phylogeny of the group is essential. To infer the affinities among branchiopods, we employed two approaches to taxon and gene sampling, presented new sequence data from three genes, incorporated previously published sequence data from three additional genes, and utilized comprehensive techniques of phylogeny reconstruction. The results provided support for a number of longstanding hypotheses concerning the relationships among the orders. For example, we obtained support for the Cladoceromorpha and Gymnomera, and favoured a unique arrangement of the cladoceran orders. A few affinities remain to be resolved, particularly at the base of the Phyllopoda and within the Anomopoda. However, the results suggest that increased gene sampling is recommended for future investigations of branchiopod systematics.