Dept. of Molecular Biodiversity & DNA bank of the Canarian Flora
The Jardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo”-Unidad Asociada CSIC of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria (JBCVCSIC) hosts Spain’s largest botanical garden. Molecular facilities of the JBCSIC are fully equipped for DNA analysis from isolation & quantification to PCR amplification (sequencing and other genotyping services are externalized). The DNA bank of the Canarian Flora at the JBCVCSIC currently stores DNA extracts for a consistent representation of Canary Island species, the majority of these endemic, plus DNA extracts of other taxa from geographical regions with which the Canaries hold floristic links. The JBCVCSIC has two other fully equipped research departments of (1) reproductive biology and micro-morphology (with two Scanning Electron Microscopes and several optical and fluorescent microscopes), and of (2) endangered flora monitoring and data basing. The centre also hosts the largest seed bank of Canarian and Macaronesian plant endemics, a herbarium (LPA) with ca. 40,000 sheets, and a complete botanical library. It edits the scientific journal “Botánica Macaronésica” (not peer-reviewed so far), which publishes suitable papers dealing with any aspect of Macaronesian Floras. The centre devotes a large part of its activity to the public dissemination of the value of biodiversity and its conservation through its education department, the collections exhibited in the botanical garden itself, and its links with the company Faromedia and the Fundación Amurga (which is related to several relevant mass media in the Canaries).
TEAM LEADER: Juli Caujapé-Castells
Juli is the head and creator of the Departamento de Biodiversidad Molecular y Banco de ADN at the Jardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo”-Unidad Asociada CSIC of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria (JBCVCSIC). He is also the Associate director of research of the UNESCO-Unitwin chair for Climate change and conservation of Biodiversity in Macaronesia and NW-Africa at the JBCVCSIC, and is a co-founder of the Global island plant conservation network. His group integrates molecular information in collaborative multi-disciplinary approaches to:
(i) address problems about the evolution, diversity, conservation, molecular ID, and links of the Canarian flora, and
(ii) create bioinformatic tools to enhance the knowledge on biodiversity’s genetic diversity (the Demiurge information system ).
Ruth uses molecular tools (DNA sequencing, ISSRs and microsatellites) to better understand the origins, evolution taxonomy, biogeography, diversification and conservation of island plants from mainly, but not only, the Canary Islands. Some of the focal groups that she has been or is doing research on are Matthiola and Parolinia (Brassicaceae), Dracaena (Dracaenaceae), Minuartia (Caryophyllaceae), Heberdenia and Myrsine (Myrsinacae), or Echium (Boraginaceae). For the past few years, she has been involved in several projects to explore and develop the potential of DNA barcoding as a practical tool to complement morphology in the species-level identification of the Canarian flora.