numerical taxonomy

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to numerical taxonomy: cytotaxonomy, chemotaxonomy

Numerical taxonomy

The grouping by numerical methods of taxonomic units based on their character states. The application of numerical methods to taxonomy, dating back to the rise of biometrics in the late nineteenth century, has received a great deal of attention with the development of the computer and computer technology. Numerical taxonomy provides methods that are objective, explicit, and repeatable, and is based on the ideas first put forward by M. Adanson in 1963. These ideas, or principles, are that the ideal taxonomy is composed of information-rich taxa based on as many features as possible, that a priori every character is of equal weight, that overall similarity between any two entities is a function of the similarity of the many characters on which the comparison is based, and that taxa are constructed on the basis of diverse character correlations in the groups studied.

In the early stages of development of numerical taxonomy, phylogenetic relationships were not considered. However, numerical methods have made possible exact measurement of evolutionary rates and phylogenetic analysis. Furthermore, rapid developments in the techniques of direct measurement of the homologies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and ribonucleic acid (RNA) between different organisms now provide an estimation of “hybridization” between the DNAs of different taxa and, therefore, possible evolutionary relationships. Thus, research in numerical taxonomy often includes analyses of the chemical and physical properties of the nucleic acids of the organisms the data from which are correlated with phenetic groupings established by numerical techniques. See Phylogeny, Taxonomic categories

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

numerical taxonomy

[nü′mer·i·kəl tak′sän·ə·mē]
The numerical evaluation of the affinity or similarity between taxonomic units and the ordering of these units into taxa on the basis of their affinities.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(29.) Sokal RR, Sneath HA (1963) Numerical Taxonomy. London: Freeman 154.
(31.) Felsenstein J (1983) Numerical taxonomy. Springer New York USA 127.
(62.) Sneath PHA, Sokal RR (1973) Numerical taxonomy: the principles and practice of numerical classification.
The reference strains included in the numerical taxonomy study were: Achromobacter denitrificans CECT (Coleccion Espanola de Cultivos Tipo, Valencia, Spain) [449.sup.T], Agrobacterium ferrugineum CECT [4356.sup.T], Halomonas aquamarina CECT [5000.sup.T], Marinomonas communis CECT [5003.sup.T], Marinomonas vaga CECT [5004.sup.T], Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus CECT [5005.sup.T], Porphyrobacter sanguineus CECT [4271.sup.T], Pseudoalteromonas (abbreviated as Pa) citrea CECT [575.sup.T], Pa.
Characterization by numerical taxonomy and ribotyping of Vibrio splendidus biovar I and Vibrio scophthalmi strains associated with turbot cultures.
Numerical taxonomy is a well accepted method to search for differential phenotipic characteristics among close taxonomic strains.
Vibrios isolated from the cultured manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum): numerical taxonomy and antibacterial activities.
Literature review and numerical taxonomy of Eragrostis tef (T'et).
Cluster analysis was then performed based on similarity coefficient among the samples, based on molecular data by using Numerical Taxonomy and Multivariate Analysis System (NTSYS) Pc version 2.01 (Rohlf, 2002).
Numerical Taxonomy. Freeman, San Francisco, California

Full browser ?