DNA and all that

Monique Reed monique at MAIL.BIO.TAMU.EDU
Fri Feb 7 10:22:57 CST 2003


I wish I shared Dirk's optimism.  In seventeen years of maintaining the herbarium in a fairly large Biology Department, one which is skewed heavily toward the "DNA bandwagon", I have received only 52 DNA vouchers representing 3 or 4 projects.  None of the molecular systematic botany graduate students currently  in the department has submitted any  and none of the faculty is currently depositing vouchers for DNA work either.

Monique Reed
Texas A&M University

 "Date:    Thu, 6 Feb 2003 09:00:57 +0100
From:    Dirk Albach <albach at GMX.NET>
Subject: Re: DNA and all that

Don,

don't worry about the DNA bandwagon rolling over traditional taxonomy. One can't live without the other. Traditional taxonomy needs DNA characters for hypothesis testing. And molecular systematics needs traditional taxonomy for identifying what they are sequencing. Just look at how many misidentified species in molecular analyses are reported (Taxon 51(4): p.696 for a recent example) and based on my own experience this is just the tip of an iceberg, to which I unfortunately contributed myself at the beginning of my Ph.D. thesis. This shows the importance of vouchers for DNA sequence - and those able to check
them!

Dirk"




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