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Future of Taxonomy

Paper Discussion for Bi294

Rhina Llanto

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of Future of Taxonomy

Taxonomy: Renaissance or Tower of Babel James Mallet and Keith WIllmott ? ! Advances in Technology Newly Perceived Needs
- Biodiversity Crisis teaching funding ecology DNA Sequences phylogenetic
analysis Identification defining and identifying species no different for a single
unique name for every taxon DNA Taxonomy ancestral polymorphism
may persist for millions of
generations after speciation difficulty genes may introgress between
closely related species long after
intraspecific coalescence would
otherwise have fixed
divergent alleles ? "horizontal
genome project"
DNA Archiving System WEB TAXONOMY All species GBIF Species 2000 Tree of Life Charles Godfray Unitary Taxonomy Monopolize Nomenclature reject
central registry
IBC, Zoological Code Stability of names existing rules of nomenclature Unitary Taxonomy DNA Taxonomy Phylogenetic Code inadequate TAXOME PROJECT Universal Web Taxonomy requires establishment of a stable, well-funded, user-friendly information source that is open to all USA UK Conclusion BIodivesity - Crisis Taxonomy - getting popular AGAIN Fund Reform to taxonomy Challenges for Taxonomy The discipline will have to reinvent
itself if it is to survive and flourish First Bioinformatics Crisis As subsequent workers began to describe more and more species, often in ignorance of each other's work, the resulting confusion and chaos threatened to destroy the whole enterprise while still in its infancy. Second Bioinformatics Crisis huge explosion of sequence, genomic, proteomic and other molecular data ? reasons 1. Taxonomists lack clearly achievable goals that are
both realistic and relevant. 2. Part of the legacy of more then 200 years of systematics. "original descriptions have to be referred to for ever, independent of the paper's quality" - Frank-Thorsten Krell 3. Today, many species are being described poorly in isolated publications, with
no attempt to relate a new taxon to existing species and classification. "Taxonomy is made for the web: it is an information-rich subject, often requiring copious illustrations." Unitary Organization 1. Only logical way to to organize a unitary taxonomy
and to make a it widely available is on the web. 2. Taxonomy needs to expand t include other aspects of he
species' biology, to become an information science that
curates our accumulated knowledge of that species in a way
a gene annotation in a genome database organizes our
knowledge of a particular protein. 3. It is essential that unitary taxonomy of different groups
evolves from the present taxonomy. "First Web Revision" include: 1. traditional description of each taxon and the location of type material 2. material not currently required in a formal description 3. gene sequence

4. treatment of existing known synonyms to preserve contact with
the older literature. "This draft first web revision would be placed on the web for comments form the community, then after changes have been made in response, it would become the unitary taxonomy of the group." First Web Revision needs administration
servers and networks
intellectual administration vs. Status Quo administration
museums and herbariums ADVANTAGES > evolutionary rather than revolutionary > major government and private research funders > information hub > fewer constraints in the web > FREE! DISADVANTAGE requirement for more administration with its attendant costs at variance with the individualistic tradition of taxonomy degree to which a treatment should be "complete" before it is a candidate for a first web revision Is a web-based taxonomy as permanent as a paper-based one, and are people without computers disenfranchised, especially those in less wealthy countries? CONCLUSION technological fix funding descriptive taxonomy 250 years rigidity of current rules
and codes of taxonomy THANK YOU! =) Rhina Llanto
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