Dirk Erpenbeck

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The origin of many of the defining features of animal body plans, such as symmetry, nervous system, and the mesoderm, remains shrouded in mystery because of major uncertainty regarding the emergence order of the early branching taxa: the sponge groups, ctenophores, placozoans, cnidarians, and bilaterians. The "phylogenomic" approach [1] has recently(More)
Despite expanding data sets and advances in phylogenomic methods, deep-level metazoan relationships remain highly controversial. Recent phylogenomic analyses depart from classical concepts in recovering ctenophores as the earliest branching metazoan taxon and propose a sister-group relationship between sponges and cnidarians (e.g., Dunn CW, Hejnol A, Matus(More)
The current morphological classification of the Demospongiae G4 clade was tested using large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU rRNA) sequences from 119 taxa. Fifty-three mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) barcoding sequences were also analysed to test whether the 28S phylogeny could be recovered using an independent gene. This is the largest and most(More)
The complete mitochondrial genomes of two reptiles, the common iguana (Iguana iguana) and the caiman (Caiman crocodylus), were sequenced in order to investigate phylogenetic questions of tetrapod evolution. The addition of the two species allows analysis of reptilian relationships using data sets other than those including only fast-evolving species. The(More)
Animal mitochondrial (mt) genomes are characteristically circular molecules of ~16–20 kb. Medusozoa (Cnidaria excluding Anthozoa) are exceptional in that their mt genomes are linear and sometimes subdivided into two to presumably four different molecules. In the genus Hydra, the mt genome comprises one or two mt chromosomes. Here, we present the whole mt(More)
Margaritifera margaritifera and M. auricularia are among the most endangered freshwater mussels in the world, and the only species of the genus found in Europe. Our genetic study explores allozymic variability (27 loci) and differentiation at the mitochondrial sequence level (partial COI and 16S rRNA gene sequences). The Spanish M. auricularia population(More)
The phylogenetic diversification of Hexapoda is still not fully understood. Morphological and molecular analyses have resulted in partly contradicting hypotheses. In molecular analyses, 18S sequences are the most frequently employed, but it appears that 18S sequences do not contain enough phylogenetic signals to resolve basal relationships of hexapod(More)
Exceptional ecological niche diversity, clear waters and unique divergent selection pressures have often been invoked to explain high morphological and genetic diversity of taxa within ancient lakes. However, it is possible that in some ancient lake taxa high diversity has arisen because these historically stable environments have allowed accumulation of(More)
In this study we report the first animal invasion, to our knowledge, into Lake Malawi. The colonizer is a non-native morph of the gastropod Melanoides tuberculata that differs substantially in external shell characters from co-occurring indigenous forms. However, because the species possesses extensive within-Africa geographical variation in shell(More)
With the completion of a single unified classification, the Systema Porifera (SP) and subsequent development of an online species database, the World Porifera Database (WPD), we are now equipped to provide a first comprehensive picture of the global biodiversity of the Porifera. An introductory overview of the four classes of the Porifera is followed by a(More)