L. A. Orbeli Institute of
Physiology NAS RA


Training course “Introduction to molecular phylogenetics”

07-18 November 2016 (2 weeks, 14:00-17:00)

We are happy to announce a course “Introduction to molecular phylogenetics” in the framework of collaboration between the Institute of Botany of NAS RA, L. Orbeli Institute of Physiology of NAS RA, the Young Biologists Association NGO with the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem.

Molecular phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relationships among organisms using molecular data. The relationships are inferred my means of DNA sequence data and computer-based phylogenetic inference methods. Molecular phylogenetics is an irreplaceable component in modern biodiversity research and all studies on evolutionary questions. Applications of molecular phylogenetics include analyses of relationships between organisms (species, genera, families), reconstructing the evolution of morphological characters, finding the next relatives of crop plants, analyses of biogeographic patterns, analyses of species-limits, analyses of the genetic diversity of populations.

Course objectives and main topics

The objective of this course is to provide a general introduction into the theoretical background, approaches and methods of molecular phylogenetics. The course will provide examples mainly from botany but the methods are equally applicable for other fields.


  • Evolution, taxonomy and phylogenetics
  • The source of data in molecular phylogenetics
  • What are molecular characters?
  • Common questions and general approaches in phylogenetic studies
  • What to consider when designing phylogenetic studies
  • Linking molecular data with morphology and distribution data

Venue: Conference hall of the L. Orbeli Institute of Physiology NAS RA, 22 Orbeli Bros. str., 0028 Yerevan, Armenia

Working language: English

Dates: 07-18 November 2016 (10 working days, 14:00-17:00)

Week 1 (07-11 November)

Course format: The first week will be held mainly in form of lectures, demonstrations and some hands-on computer exercises.

Week 2 (14-18 November)
Practical part – key laboratory steps for generating plastid DNA sequences

Course format: Short introductory lectures / presentations, practice, discussion of results and setting next steps, various further theoretical topics as presentations and group discussions

  • Day 1 – DNA extraction
  • Day 2 – Gel electrophoresis and PCR setup
  • Day 3 – PCR quality control, discussion of results, PCR setup for a different region
  • Day 4 – Purification of PCR products, “long gel”
  • Day 5 – Quality control of sequences, sequence assembly

Further topics:Primer design, plastid regions commonly used for phylogenetics of flowering plants and their properties, general strategies and best practice for PCR and sequencing

Target groups:

The course is open to interested biologists at different levels in their careers.

  • - Students of biology at M.Sc. level
  • - Young scientists already holding an M.Sc. degree in biology or related disciplines
  • - PhD students in relevant disciplines
  • - Postdocs in relevant disciplines


For registration, please follow the link: http://bit.ly/2cVerBq

The deadline for registration is 15 of October 2016. All selected participants will be informed via e-mail on 20 October 2016