The Mollusca represent one of the most morphologically diverse animal phyla, prompting a variety of hypotheses on relationships between the major lineages within the phylum based upon morphological, developmental, and paleontological data. Analyses of small-ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene sequence have provided limited resolution of higher-level relationships within the Mollusca. Recent analyses suggest large-subunit (LSU) rRNA gene sequences are useful in resolving deep-level metazoan relationships, particularly when combined with SSU sequence. To this end, LSU (approximately 3.5 kb in length) and SSU (approximately 2 kb) sequences were collected for 33 taxa representing the major lineages within the Mollusca to improve resolution of intraphyletic relationships. Although the LSU and combined LSU+SSU datasets appear to hold potential for resolving branching order within the recognized molluscan classes, low bootstrap support was found for relationships between the major lineages within the Mollusca. LSU+SSU sequences also showed significant levels of rate heterogeneity between molluscan lineages. The Polyplacophora, Gastropoda, and Cephalopoda were each recovered as monophyletic clades with the LSU+SSU dataset. While the Bivalvia were not recovered as monophyletic clade in analyses of the SSU, LSU, or LSU+SSU, the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test showed that likelihood scores for these results did not differ significantly from topologies where the Bivalvia were monophyletic. Analyses of LSU sequences strongly contradict the widely accepted Diasoma hypotheses that bivalves and scaphopods are closely related to one another. The data are consistent with recent morphological and SSU analyses suggesting scaphopods are more closely related to gastropods and cephalopods than to bivalves. The dataset also presents the first published DNA sequences from a neomeniomorph aplacophoran, a group considered critical to our understanding of the origin and early radiation of the Mollusca. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc.