Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research (BeGenDiv)
Five research institutes and universities, including IGB, established the Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research (BeGenDiv) in 2012 with the aim of jointly developing new, modern methods for research on biodiversity. The labs at the Botanical Museum in Berlin-Dahlem are equipped with modern high-tech devices for genome analysis. Using pyrosequencing technology, scientists obtain considerable amounts of genetic information within a very short time period – 200 times faster than using conventional methods and at a much lower cost. The partners investigate complex groups of closely related species as well as endangered animals and plants. The researchers are now even able to unlock the world of microorganisms, many details of which have yet to be discovered. Changes in genetic information due to environmental and climate change can also be detected. In contrast, the examination of genetic information from museum specimens of long extinct species offers a view of the past, before changes in the genome had been triggered anthropogenically, i.e. as a result of human influence.