Lophotrochozoan mitochondrial genomes
Progress in both molecular techniques and phylogenetic methods has challenged many of the interpretations of traditional taxonomy. One example is in the recognition of the animal superphylum Lophotrochozoa (annelids, mollusks, echiurans, platyhelminthes, brachiopods, and other phyla), although the relationships within this group and the inclusion of some phyla remain uncertain. While much of this progress in phylogenetic reconstruction has been based on comparing single gene sequences, we are beginning to see the potential of comparing large-scale features of genomes, such as the relative order of genes. Even though tremendous progress is being made on the sequence determination of whole nuclear genomes, the dataset of choice for genome-level characters for many animals across a broad taxonomic range remains mitochondrial genomes. We review here what is known about mitochondrial genomes of the lophotrochozoans and discuss the promise that this dataset will enable insight into their relationships.