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Guzow-Krzeminska, Beata & Grzegorz Wegrzyn. Potential use of restriction anaylsis of PCR-amplified DNA fragments in taxonomy of lichens. Mycotaxon 76: 305-313. 2000.

ABSTRACT: Identification of lichen species solely on the basis of morphological and anatomical features of samples is often difficult. Molecular biology techniques provide many opportunities in taxonomy, but these techniques are usually used for determination of phylogenetic relationships at different levels rather than for identification of particular specimens. Here we asked whether restriction analysis of PCR-amplified DNA fragments can be used as a diagnostic test for identification of particular taxa. PCR amplification and rDNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) were used to examine variability among species of the genus Melanelia. Restriction patterns were found to be characteristic for particular species, though in some cases more than one pattern occurred in one species. Therefore, we propose that restriction patterns of PCR-amplified DNA fragments may be used for identification of lichens, especially for taxa dificult to distinguish on the basis of morphological and anatomical features. Possible usefulness of identification keys based on DNA restriction patterns is discussed.

KEYWORDS: Lichens, molecular taxonomy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), rDNA ampliication, restriction analysis


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