The Group of Molecular Systematics


Molecular markers being a precise tool for biodiversity research y have been widely used in zoology in the past decades. This method provides objective information in biodiversity studies. DNA, upon which analysis is based may be preserved for a nearly unlimited period of time. This is particularly important with regard to endangered species and species from areas difficult of access. Molecular markers permit discriminating very close species and twin (sibling) species, which had always been a stumbling block when using classical methods. Molecular methods allow to keep animal alive as samples (their blood, skin, etc.) are taken for analysis; this is particularly important during studies of relic or “Red Book” species.

The Zoological Institute started the program aiming at establishing bank of animal DNA and developing molecular methods for taxonomy and biodiversity description. DNA may be extracted not only from live animals obtained during expeditions, but also from rich collections of the old collections of the Zoological Institute.

The task of the Unit is to apply molecular methods to a larger number of taxonomic groups of animals and to adapt these techniques to institute’s goals. Particular emphasis is placed to evolutionary studies.


 

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