Directorate Taxonomy and Phylogeny



JEMU (Joint Experimental Molecular Unit)

JEMU (Joint Experimental Molecular Unit) is an integrated joint research infrastructure of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, Brussels) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, Tervuren). It aims at supporting scientific research in the fields of molecular systematics, phylogeny reconstruction, species delimitation, DNA barcoding, phylogeography and population genetics, with a particular focus on the application of new DNA and RNA technologies (Next-Generation DNA Sequencing, NGS) and the use of these techniques in natural history collections.

In practice, the activities of JEMU consist of:

1. DNA analysis of museum specimens: JEMU evaluates and develops new protocols for the DNA analysis of historical and ancient specimens. For this, JEMU applies, adapts and tests various methodologies on vertebrates and invertebrates from wet and dry collections. Methodologies for the following crucial steps are of particular concern: DNA extraction from tissue samples, DNA quality evaluation and preservation, DNA sequencing on classical and NGS platforms and data analysis using state of the art and in-house developed bioinformatic pipelines.

2. Collaborative research projects: JEMU provides the opportunity to scientists of RBINS and RMCA to apply for JEMU support by submitting project proposals. Hitherto JEMU supported 38 research projects. In addition, JEMU shares expertise with BopCo (Barcoding of Organisms and tissues of Policy Concern).

3. Education and training: JEMU organises introductory seminars, workshops for experts, individual training sessions and collaborative start-up projects with the aim to enhance the synergy between taxonomists and molecular systematists.


Internal member(s)
Thierry Backeljau
Carl Vangestel
Gontran Sonet
Other member(s)
Marc De Meyer (RMCA)
Massimiliano Virgilio (RMCA)
Nele Mullens (RMCA)
JEMU (Joint Experimental Molecular Unit) is integrated joint research infrastructure funded by the Belgian Science Policy and supported by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, Brussels) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, Tervuren).
Partners and sponsors
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