The International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL) launched in 2008 and has since grown to be the largest DNA barcode sequencing consortium in the world. iBoL leads a network of national hubs, across over 30 countries and more than 1,000 researchers, to help progress the goal to barcode sequence all life to create a robust framework for biodiversity surveillance. iBoL has successfully delivered on its first phase “Barcode 500k”, creating a global network of national government driven barcoding programmes, informatics and sequencing infrastructure to barcode sequence 500,000 species. The second phase “BIOSCAN” launched in June 2019, and leverages this current network to barcode 2 million species by 2026. All barcodes generated by UKBOL are uploaded to BOLD to help complete the global reference library.
BIOSCAN is a global initiative spearheaded by the International Barcode of Life to take DNA barcoding to a new level and study species as well as their interactions. It works by generating DNA barcodes for seven common animal, plant, and fungi barcodes at the same time for each specimen rather than the more traditional single barcode diagnostic per specimen. For example, for a single insect specimen, BIOSCAN barcoding reveals the insect species alongside the species of the plants it may have eaten or pollinated all in one sequencing reaction.
The Darwin Tree of Life project aims to sequence the genomes of all species of eukaryotic organisms in Britain and Ireland. It is a collaboration between biodiversity, genomics and analysis partners that hopes to transform the way we do biology, conservation and biotechnology.
BIOSCAN Europe is part of the International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL) and its global BIOSCAN initiative which aims to transform understanding of species diversity, their interactions, and dynamics. Our aim is to unite and connect the national nodes of iBOL as well as the wider community of biodiversity researchers present in Europe, and to establish a European hub for the International Barcode of Life consortium.
The UK DNA Working Group facilitates dialogue and collaboration by providing a forum for the wide community of government agencies, academics and other stakeholders to discuss priorities and emerging developments in the use of DNA for environmental monitoring.