An Introduction to Barcoding - 2.


Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification
Taxonomists arrange things to be classified in hierarchichal structures, typically related by subtype-supertype relationships
In biology, we use a combination of a genus name and a single specific epithet to uniquely identify each species of organism

Phylogenetic Relationships

Linnean taxonomy is considered to be a natural classification system for living organisms as all living things are indeed descendend from a single common ancestor and have diverged from one-another through a series of speciation events though the process known as evolution. As a result, some groups of species are more closely related than others and might reasonably be classified within the same genus, family, order etc.


For animals, we say that 2 individuals belong to the same species if they can interbreed to produce fertile offspring

This definition is more difficult for other types of organisms, nevertheless, classification of organisms is essential to allow description of organisms and biodiversity


In all living organisms DNA is the genetic material that is passed from generation to generation and forms a manual to construct the organism.


DNA is formed of long chains made up of 4 different subunits known as A, C, T and G



Mutation and Evolution

  • With each generation, a few random changes are introduced into the DNA of an organism.
  • Some of these are bad for the organism and tend to be eliminated by NATURAL SELECTION.
  • Others make little or no difference to the organism's fitness and can become widespread in a population BY CHANCE.