Polyphasic taxonomy - combining classical (microscopy) and modern (molecular tools) in a taxonomic revision of the Cyanobacteria occurring in Lake Kinneret

Traditionally, the taxonomy of microalgae was based on morphological features observable by light microscopy, such as shape, size, color, cell-organization, intracellular organelles, storage products as well as ecological data. By using recent developments in molecular techniques species can now be identified based on their genome and placed into phylogenetic trees. However, at times there are contradictions between classical vs. molecular taxonomic identifications. I attempt to correlate between biochemical, ultrastructural, phenotypic and ecological data, termed as polyphasic taxonomy.

The objectives of this study are:

1) To conduct modern micro-algal taxonomy studies within a leading group of microalgal taxonomists at the University of South Bohemia (Ceske Budejovice) and at the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Trebon), under the supervision of Prof. Jiří Komárek

2) To learn molecular methods employed in taxonomy of cyanobacteria.

3) To conduct a taxonomic revision of the cyanobacteria occurring in Lake Kinneret, based on a collection of fixed water samples and live cultures of the cyanobacteria species occurring in Lake Kinneret and valley. The material was prepared at the Kinneret Limnological Laboratory.