Article: Problems for taxonomic analysis using intracrystalline amino acids: an example using brachiopods
Multivariate statistical analysis of the absolute abundance of amino acids extracted from the intracrystalline sites of brachiopods has the potential for constructing a molecular phylogeny. In all cases, separation of the brachiopods was possible to subordinal level and in some cases to subfamilial level. Older samples showed a merging of closely related genera, indicating the loss of specificity caused by the degradation of amino acids. Amino acid data alone are therefore not sufficient for molecular taxonomy in fossils; the degradative pathways should be sought to allow reconstruction of the original amino acid content.