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Molecular Systematics and Evolution
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Molecular techniques uncover the most minute steps in evolution, thereby challenging dogma in the areas of systematics and evolutionary biology. With the torrent of data to come, the key to revealing how life evolved lies in the refinement and standardization of molecular techniques and information processing using computer-based tools. This volume introduces the reader to the theoretical and controversial aspects of molecular techniques in systematics and evolutionary biology. Important practical implications are established by case reports and specific examples. The present book is the ideal complement to the practitioner's manual +Techniques in Molecular Systematics and Evolution+ ((kursiv)), published by the same editors in the Birkhauser MTBM book series. The first part of this book deals with important applications of evolutionary and systematic analysis at different taxonomic levels. The second part discusses DNA multiple sequence alignment, species designations using molecular data, evo-devo and other topics that are problematic or controversial. In the last part, novel topics in molecular evolution and systematics, like genomics, comparative methods in molecular evolution and the use of large data bases are described. The final chapter deals with problems in bacterial evolution, considering the increasing access to large numbers of complete genome sequences. The book is primarily written for researchers and students in the fields of systematics and evolutionary biology, molecular biology, ecology, and zoology. It serves as a broad and updated information source covering theoretical aspects of topical analysis methods and as a base for critical considerations regarding new approaches in evolutionary biology and systematics.
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Table of Contents

1. Evolutionary analysis at different levels.- to part 1.- Cladistics, populations and species in geographical space: the case of Heliconius butterflies.- Species to genera: phylogenetic inference in the Hawaiian Drosophilidae.- Higher-level systematic analysis of birds: current problems and possible solutions.- Relative quality of different systematic datasets for cetartiodactyl mammals: assessments within a combined analysis framework.- Phylogeny of the holometabolous insect orders based on 18S ribosomal DNA: when bad things happen to good data.- Relationships among metazoan phyla as inferred from 18S rRNA sequence data: a methodological approach.- 2. Current problems in molecular systematics.- to part 2.- DNA multiple sequence alignments.- Theory and practice of parallel direct optimization.- Some statistical aspects of the maximum parsimony method.- `Pluralism' and the aims of phylogenetic research.- Molecular systematics and the origin of species: new syntheses or methodological introgressions?.- Is morphology still relevant?.- Development, homology and systematics.- 3. New approaches to molecular evolution.- to part 3.- Gene family phylogenetics: tracing protein evolution on trees.- Evolution of spider silk proteins: insight from phylogenetic analyses.- Comparative methods and evolution.- The use of physiological data to corroborate cospeciation events in symbiosis.- Reexamining microbial evolution through the lens of horizontal transfer.- References.

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