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High throughput facility at Bonn museum

A high throughput DNA barcoding facility will be established in the molecular laboratory of Bonn's Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum as part of a major expansion of barcoding activities by iBOL's German node.

A £5 million grant over 3.5 years from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has catalyzed the creation of the German Barcode of Life (GBOL) network, which is now moving ahead on a wide-ranging strategy to expand laboratory and informatics infrastructure, accumulate barcode data sets, and build the image, voucher and molecular collections required for a comprehensive online species identification system for Germany's biodiversity.

GBOL is a consortium of natural history museums and other research institutions that have agreed to provide their taxonomic expertise and existing infrastructure (e.g. dry and wet collections, frozen tissue and DNA collections, databases and laboratories) to barcode the German biodiversity inventory.

GBOL partners are assigned to subprojects according to their taxonomic expertise. Institutions involved in GBOL are:

ZOOLOGY

BOTANY & MYCOLOGY

SOIL ORGANISMS

The institutions will cooperate towards maximum coverage of groups - in both species and specimen numbers - from fresh samples and museum collections. They will also establish a national network of professional taxonomists and qualified volunteers to collect and identify specimens. The molecular laboratory of the ZFMK will establish a “barcode factory” to enhance specimen throughput and efficiency.

The GBOL partners will undertake a number of test projects with industrial users of species information, where accurate and efficient identifications have important economic and ecological implications (e.g. water quality control, control of pest species in agriculture and forestry, fisheries and environmental sampling).

 

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A GBOL web portal has been launched to facilitate internal coordination and targeted collecting, support networking and share barcode data generated in Germany with the international community. GBOL data will also flow into Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) and GBIF.

This spring, citizen scientists with extensive knowledge of varied species will be invited to join professional researchers at regional workshops where they will learn standardized protocols for collecting and preserving specimens and submitting them for barcode analysis. Citizen scientists have a long tradition of solid taxonomic and faunistic work in Germany, and many groups would be difficult to tackle without their help.

(Adapted from an article in ECBOL Newsletter - Issue 5)


 

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