Conceptual frames in taxonomy

Ivano de Filippis ivano at ALPHA.INCQS.FIOCRUZ.BR
Thu Sep 18 16:02:56 CDT 1997

Dear Taxacom readers,

I am the microbiologist (bacteriologist) who posted the message to Thomas
Schlemmermeyer. As a matter of fact I did not try to make any parallel with
bacteria and insects, but I was trying to find an Internet site where I
could download a simple software to build dendrograms from a matrix data. At
the momento I am working with isoenzymes and whole protein pattern
electrophoresis and the data achieved must be organized in a similarity
matrix, which should result in a dendrogram to make easier the visualization
of which strain descend from which other. I posted some messages to a couple
of taxonomist which were discussing about cladistic, dendrograms etc., but I
had no intention of compare bacteria with insects or other higher organisms.
Anyway, in microbiology systematics, is not so much relevant the geographyc
distribution as a tool for classification or identification of species, but
a several of tests (biochemical, morphological, serological), and now
nucleic acid and protein/enzymes analysis has been very much applied for
this purpose. If I could help, I am open for more discussion on this matter.

Best wishes,


>Dear readers,
>Surprisingly, after posting my last message, I received a feed-back by a
>microbiologist, who is a member of the taxacom-list.
>This leads me to post one more, even if not targeted, maybe, at least,
>educated question:
>In Insect taxonomy, there is a broad conceptual frame based on Hennig's
>phylogenetic systematics and vicariance biogeography.
>Hennig developped his methods by dealing with bisexual, more or less
>separated reproduction complexes of the insect order Diptera.
>Now my question: In what sense and up to which point, these methods make
>sense in bacterial systematics as well?
>In insects characters, usually, are said to be transferred vertically,=20
>from ancestor to descendant.
>Only in rare cases are discussed horizontal character transfers which then
>may show up in the cladistic analysis as homoplasy.
>What about the situation in bacterial systematics?
>Insect biogeography is supposed to be closely linked to geohistorical
>events of separation of land masses etc.
>Such approaches make sense in microbiology as well?
>Very interested in an intensiv discussion of the topic presented I send
>my best wishes,
>                       Thomas
>Thomas Schlemmermeyer
>Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de S=E3o Paulo
>Caixa Postal 42694
>CEP 04299-970
>S=E3o Paulo, SP, Brasil
>Thomas Schlemmermeyer
>Caixa Postal 00276
>CEP 14001-970
>Ribeir=E3o Preto, SP, Brasil
>Fone, Fax: 016 6371999
Ivano de Filippis
Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz - FIOCRUZ
Instituto Nacional de Controle de Qualidade em Saude - INCQS
Depto. de Microbiologia
Lab. de Materiais de Referencia
Av. Brasil, 4365 - Manguinhos
Rio de Janeiro - 21045-900 - BRASIL
Tel.: 55-21-598-4290/4291/4292/4293
FAX: 55-21-290-0915
E-mail: ivano at

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