Molecular evidence on the evolution of the Bivalvia

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Despite widespread agreement on the monophyly of several major taxa of bivalves, others remain uncertain and the relationships among them are debated. The present study compares new and published morphological phylogenies with new analyses based on 18S gene sequences. All but one family and all superfamilies in the Bivalvia were monophyletic in all the analyses. Several higher taxa, including most subclasses and orders, were also resolved as monophyletic. Only Myoida shows strong evidence for polyphyly, with at least two origins from Veneroida. Autobranchia was supported as monophyletic in the parsimony analyses. Within Pteriomorphia, Ostreoida is the sister taxon of Pterioida, if not derived from within it, rather than closest to Pectinoida. The numerous points of agreement with morphology based analyses suggests that both types of evidence are converging on a common phylogeny; however, differences remain to be resolved by further study.