The Cenus of Marine Life maintains a strong relationship with the marine activities of Barcode of Life, an international initiative to promote a process enabling the rapid and inexpensive identification of the estimated 10 million species of eucaryotic life on Earth. A “barcode” is a short DNA sequence, from a uniform locality on the genome, used for identifying species. The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) is an international collaboration of natural history museums, herbaria, biological repositories, and biodiversity inventory sites, together with academic and commercial experts in genomics, taxonomy, electronics, and computer science. The mission of CBOL is to rapidly accelerate compiling of DNA barcodes of known and newly discovered plant and animal species, establish a public library of sequences linked to named specimens, and promote development of portable devices for DNA barcoding.
DNA barcodes can be used on most species of marine organisms and are a method of identification complimentary to traditional taxonomy. Once barcodes are assigned to particular species names, they can be useful, for example, for verifying species in commercial fish catches. Within the next decade, technological advances in this field could bring us handheld barcoding devices or regional ‘chips’ of native marine populations that may assist instantaneous recognition of species or identification of invasive species. The Census of Marine Life has built on the ideas and practicies of the Barcode of Life and has developed a compatible DNA Barcoding Protocol for marine specimens collected under CoML.
For more information on initiatives in Marine Barcoding:
Or contact: Dirk Steinke, University of Guelph, Canada
Some Barcoding Initiatives on Specific Marine Groups:
For more information on the Barcode of Life, see:
Or contact the Secretariat for the Barcode of Life:
David E. Schindel, Executive Secretary
Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History
Reports and Documents
Report of Workshop on Barcoding Marine Life (May 15-17, 2006)
Report of the First Workshop on Fish Barcode of Life (FISH-BOL), 5-8 June 2005, Guelp, ON, Canada
DNA barcoding Australia’s fish species, Ward et. al, 2005. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (doi:10.1098/rstb.2005.1716 Published online)
Ten Reasons to Barcode Life (brochure)