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Back to the future: museum specimens in population genetics


Wandeler, P; Hoeck, P E A; Keller, L F (2007). Back to the future: museum specimens in population genetics. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 22(12):634-642.

Abstract

Museums and other natural history collections (NHC) worldwide house millions of specimens. With the advent of molecular genetic approaches these collections have become the source of many fascinating population studies in conservation genetics that contrast historical with present-day genetic diversity. Recent developments in molecular genetics and genomics and the associated statistical tools have opened up the further possibility of studying evolutionary change directly. As we discuss here, we believe that NHC specimens provide a largely underutilized resource for such investigations. However, because DNA extracted from NHC samples is degraded, analyses of such samples are technically demanding and many potential pitfalls exist. Thus, we propose a set of guidelines that outline the steps necessary to begin genetic investigations using specimens from NHC.

Museums and other natural history collections (NHC) worldwide house millions of specimens. With the advent of molecular genetic approaches these collections have become the source of many fascinating population studies in conservation genetics that contrast historical with present-day genetic diversity. Recent developments in molecular genetics and genomics and the associated statistical tools have opened up the further possibility of studying evolutionary change directly. As we discuss here, we believe that NHC specimens provide a largely underutilized resource for such investigations. However, because DNA extracted from NHC samples is degraded, analyses of such samples are technically demanding and many potential pitfalls exist. Thus, we propose a set of guidelines that outline the steps necessary to begin genetic investigations using specimens from NHC.

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194 citations in Web of Science®
203 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:December 2007
Deposited On:27 Mar 2009 08:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:25
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0169-5347
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.tree.2007.08.017
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3080

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