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Department of Biology
Biocenter Klein Flottbek and Botanical Garden

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Classical and Molecular Systematics

The objective of systematics is to

  • recognise, describe and label the diversity of living organisms (an essential taxonomic task)
  • order and classify their natural relationships (systematics in the more literal sense)

Classical systematics examines the phylogenetic relationships of organisms using morphological and anatomical methods as well as applying state of the art techniques like ultrastructural research.

Molecular systematics reads the information provided by the genetic material of the organisms and analyses it with the aid of electronic data processing. By constructing phylogenetic trees hypotheses can be established that describe the relationship and the lineage of organisms as well as character changes in the course of evolution. Molecular systematic methods allow the detection of relationships even if they are concealed by the adaptation to differing environmental conditions.

The individual disciplines within the field of systematics must not be regarded in isolation, but it is their synergy that produces findings no individual discipline could reach alone.

Research areas   

Imprint  /  last update: 2013-03-06  by: Norbert Jürgens DE