What is molecular taxonomy?

1 Answer
Feb 25, 2018

Molecular taxonomy is the classification of organisms on the basis of the distribution and composition of chemical substances in them.


Molecular techniques in the field of biology have helped to establish genetic relationship between the number of different taxonomic categories. DNA and protein sequencing, immunological methods, DNA - DNA or DNA - RNA hybridisation methods are more informative in the study of different species.

The data obtained from such studies are used to construct phylogenetic trees. The use of molecular methods, especially DNA sequence data, has had a profound influence on taxonomy. The information is derived from mutations, which are slowly but constantly accumulating in lineages of organisms over time.

Potential demerits include difficulties of inferring positional homology, in congruence between organismal and gene genealogies, and low likelihood of recovering the correct phylogeny given certain patterns in the timing of speciation events.