[Taxacom] complete list of all species

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Feb 15 11:36:05 CST 2008

Jody Haynes observed:

>Not necessarily, Paul. The data retrieved from any database is only as good
>as the data that are put in... and, since we are human after all, mistakes
>can (and do) happen. I recently attended an international conference on my
>group of interest, and one researcher made mention of the fact that she was
>unable to reproduce the sequences generated by another researcher using the
>same methods and primers. In another instance, the Genbank sequence was fine
>(and reproducible) but the species was mislabeled when it was entered into


>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Paul Kirk" <p.kirk at cabi.org>
>To: "Mike Dallwitz" <m.j.dallwitz at netspeed.com.au>; "Taxacom"
><taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 2:49 AM
>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Fwd: complete list of all species
>>  Mike,
>  > Isn't your reproducible data what Genbank are collecting ... ;-)

More to the point, all genes are not created - nor evolved - equal. 
Those in the mitochondrial genome, for instance (like the infamous 
COI) have proven in a number of taxa to be poor for identifying or 
delimiting species; in insects, the prevalence of symbiotic Wolbachia 
evidently leads to considerable shuffling of mtDNA across species 
boundaries such that single species can have many different COI 
sequences, or multiple species can all possess identical COI. 
Clearly, there is nothing inherently more reproducible about genetic 
data, at least not if it is mitochondrial in origin, and believing 
otherwise is a fallacy we would all do well to avoid if we ever hope 
to objectively compile a list of the planet's biota.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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