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The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) is an international initiative dedicated to supporting the development of DNA barcoding as a global standard for species identification.CBOL's Secretariat Office is hosted by the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. Barcoding was proposed in 2003 by Prof. Paul Hebert of the University of Guelph in Ontario as a way of distinguishing and identifying species with a short standardized gene sequence. Hebert proposed the 648 bases of the Folmer region of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome-C oxidase-1 as the standard barcode region. Dr. Hebert is the Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, and the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL), all headquartered at the University of Guelph. The Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) is also located at the University of Guelph.
DNA barcoding is a method of species identification using a short section of DNA from a specific gene or genes. The premise of DNA barcoding is that, by comparison with a reference library of such DNA sections, an individual sequence can be used to uniquely identify an organism to species, in the same way as a supermarket scanner uses the familiar black stripes of the UPC barcode to identify an item in its stock against its reference database. These "barcodes" are sometimes used in an effort to identify unknown species, parts of an organism, or simply to catalog as many taxa as possible, or to compare with traditional taxonomy in an effort to determine species boundaries.
CBOL was created in May 2004 with support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, following two meetings in 2003, also funded by the Sloan Foundation, at the Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Since then, more than 200 organizations from more than 50 countries have joined CBOL and agreed to put their barcode data in a public database. CBOL promotes DNA barcoding through workshops, working groups, international conferences, outreach meetings to developing countries, planning meetings for barcoding projects, and production of outreach material to raise awareness of barcoding. CBOL's Database Working Group developed the data standard that GenBank, the European Bioinformatics Institute, and the DNA Data Bank of Japan have endorsed. CBOL's Plant Working Group proposed matK and rbcL as the standard barcode regions for land plants; CBOL approved this proposal in late 2005. The Fungal Working Group has identified ITS as the best barcode region for fungi, and CBOL's Protist Working Group is analyzing candidate regions for protistan groups.CBOL has also created Connect, a social network for the barcoding community. CBOL helped to plan and launch the global campaigns to barcode all species of fish and birds, and socioeconomically important groups like fruitflies.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is an American philanthropic nonprofit organization. It was established in 1934 by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.
The GenBank sequence database is an open access, annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations. This database is produced and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information as part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC).
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is an IGO which as part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) family focuses on research and services in bioinformatics.
One of CBOL's primary contributions to the success of barcoding has been its outreach efforts to government agencies (agriculture, environment, conservation, and others) and international organizations (CITES, Convention on Biological Diversity, Food and Agriculture Organization) that could benefit from barcoding.
CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The convention was opened for signature in 1973 and CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants. In order to ensure that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was not violated, the Secretariat of GATT was consulted during the drafting process.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. The Convention has three main goals including: the conservation of biological diversity ; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.
In biology, taxonomy is the science of naming, defining (circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped together into taxa and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super-group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is regarded as the founder of the current system of taxonomy, as he developed a system known as Linnaean taxonomy for categorizing organisms and binomial nomenclature for naming organisms.
Astraptes fulgerator, the two-barred flasher, is a cryptic species complex in the spread-wing skipper butterfly genus Astraptes. It ranges all over the Americas, from the southern United States to northern Argentina.
The history of genetics dates from the classical era with contributions by Hippocrates, Aristotle and Epicurus. Modern biology began with the work of the Augustinian friar Gregor Johann Mendel. His work on pea plants, published in 1866,what is now Mendelian inheritance. Some theories of heredity suggest in the centuries before and for several decades after Mendel's work.
The Westerdijk Institute, or Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The institute was renamed on 10 February 2017, after Johanna Westerdijk, the first female professor in the Netherlands and director of the institute from 1907 to 1958. The former name of the institute was CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre or Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures. Despite the name change the collection maintained by the institute remains the CBS collections and the use of CBS numbers for the strains continues.
C-value is the amount, in picograms, of DNA contained within a haploid nucleus or one half the amount in a diploid somatic cell of a eukaryotic organism. In some cases, the terms C-value and genome size are used interchangeably; however, in polyploids the C-value may represent two or more genomes contained within the same nucleus. Greilhuber et al. have suggested some new layers of terminology and associated abbreviations to clarify this issue, but these somewhat complex additions are yet to be used by other authors.
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international organisation that focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available via the Internet using web services. The data are provided by many institutions from around the world; GBIF's information architecture makes these data accessible and searchable through a single portal. Data available through the GBIF portal are primarily distribution data on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes for the world, and scientific names data.
Biodiversity Informatics is the application of informatics techniques to biodiversity information for improved management, presentation, discovery, exploration and analysis. It typically builds on a foundation of taxonomic, biogeographic, or ecological information stored in digital form, which, with the application of modern computer techniques, can yield new ways to view and analyse existing information, as well as predictive models for information that does not yet exist. Biodiversity informatics is a relatively young discipline but has hundreds of practitioners worldwide, including the numerous individuals involved with the design and construction of taxonomic databases. The term "Biodiversity Informatics" is generally used in the broad sense to apply to computerized handling of any biodiversity information; the somewhat broader term "bioinformatics" is often used synonymously with the computerized handling of data in the specialized area of molecular biology.
The Census of Marine Life was a 10-year, US $650 million scientific initiative, involving a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations, engaged to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The world's first comprehensive Census of Marine Life — past, present, and future — was released in 2010 in London. Initially supported by funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the project was successful in generating many times that initial investment in additional support and substantially increased the baselines of knowledge in often underexplored ocean realms, as well as engaging over 2,700 different researchers for the first time in a global collaborative community united in a common goal, and has been described as "one of the largest scientific collaborations ever conducted".
Global biodiversity is the measure of biodiversity on planet Earth and is defined as the total variability of life forms. More than 99 percent of all species that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 2 million to 1012, of which about 1.74 million have been databased thus far and over 80 percent have not yet been described. More recently, in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth currently with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of DNA base pairs on Earth, as a possible approximation of global biodiversity, is estimated at 5.0 x 1037, and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC (trillion tons of carbon).
Microgastrinae is a subfamily of braconid wasps, encompassing 2,000 described species, with an estimated 5,000-10,000 total species. This makes it one of the richest subfamilies with the most species of parasitoid wasps.
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined.
Marine microorganisms are defined by their habitat as the microorganisms living in a marine environment, that is, in the saltwater of a sea or ocean or the brackish water of a coastal estuary. A microorganism is any microscopic living organism, that is, any life form too small for the naked human eye to see, needing a microscope. Microorganisms are very diverse. They can be single-celled or multicellular and include all bacteria and archaea and most protozoa, as well as some species of fungi, algae, and certain microscopic animals, such as rotifers. Many macroscopic animals and plants have microscopic juvenile stages. Some microbiologists also classify viruses as microorganisms, but others consider these as nonliving. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all life, including microorganisms, living on Earth.
Seafood species can be mislabelled in misleading ways. This article examines the history and types of mislabelling, and looks at the current state of the law in different locations.
Sunil Kumar Verma, is an Indian biologist and as of January 2018, a principal scientist at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India. Verma is primarily known for his contributions to the development of "universal primer technology", a first generation DNA barcoding method, that can identify any bird, fish, reptile or mammal from a small biological sample, and satisfy legal evidence requirements in a court of law. This technology has revitalised the field of wildlife forensics and is now routinely used across India to provide a species identification service in cases of wildlife crime. This approach of species identification is now known as "DNA barcoding" across the world.
Pedro Willem Crous is a South African mycologist and plant pathologist.
DNA barcoding is an alternative method to the traditional morphological taxonomic classification to identify species of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are organisms that inhabit both marine and freshwater ecosystems and are large enough to be seen without magnification. They occupy varying niches within aquatic ecosystems. Macroinvertebrates play a vital role in the ecology of aquatic ecosystems, being responsible for the transfer of organic matter from various sources through food webs. Therefore, monitoring these organisms is crucial for bioassessment of freshwater and marine ecosystems.
DNA barcoding of algae is commonly used for species identification and phylogenetic studies. Algae form a phylogenetically heterogeneous group, meaning that the application of a single universal barcode/marker for species delimitation is unfeasible, thus different markers/barcodes are applied for this aim in different algal groups.
Microbial DNA barcoding is the use of meta DNA barcoding to characterize a mixture of microorganisms.
DNA barcoding methods for fish are used to identify groups of fish based on DNA sequences within selected regions of a genome. These methods can be used to study fish, as genetic material, in the form of environmental DNA (eDNA) or cells, is freely diffused in the water. This allows researchers to identify which species are present in a body of water by collecting a water sample, extracting DNA from the sample and isolating DNA sequences that are specific for the species of interest. Barcoding methods can also be used for biomonitoring and food safety validation, animal diet assessment, assessment of food webs and species distribution, and for detection of invasive species.
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