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Hessling, Rene Hessling at biologie.uni-osnabrueck.de
Tue Nov 9 16:04:17 EST 1999

Dear all,

I have been following the discussion about the phylogenetic position of the 
Echiura and Pogonophora as well as the taxonomic consequences for the 
nomenclature of these groups with great interest. I am delighted by the 
general interest taken in this topic and by the recent contribution of T. 
Nishikawa, J. I. Saiz-Salinas and E. Cutler, that more work needs to be 
done on echiurids in particular, since this is precisely the topic of my 
current Ph.D. thesis. My main emphasis is on the larval development of the 
nervous system in different Echiura in comparison to polychaete nervous 
systems in search for shared or dissimilar morphological characters. First 
results of immunohistochemical studies on different echiurid larvae are due 
to be published soon and give added support for a close affinity between 
echiurids and polychaetes.  

Furthermore I am in the process of sequencing different mitochondrial and 
nuclear genes in order to broaden the database of molecular characters. 
As was suggested by T. Nishikawa, J. I. Saiz-Salinas and E. Cutler my 
current sequence analysis include species from Bonellidae, Echiuridae 
and Urechidae (using the family-level nomenclature of Stephen & Edmonds 
for these echiurid subtaxa).  

I would be happy to give more detailed information about my current 
studies and to discuss my results with anyone interested in the 
phylogenetic reevaluation of the Echiura.  

With kind regards,
René Hessling
Dipl. Biol. Rene Hessling
Universtiät Osnabrueck
Spezielle Zoologie
Barbarastr. 11
D-49069 Osnabrueck 
<Hessling at biologie.uni-osnabrueck.de>
Tel. ++49-541-969-2859
Fax. ++49-541-969-2587

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