BGE Research

Uniting DNA barcoding and full-genome sequencing

We envisage a future where DNA barcoding and full-genome sequencing increasingly work hand in hand. BGE is taking the first steps towards convergence.

Working together is helping tackle scientific challenges at the interface of full-genome sequencing and DNA barcoding. These include;

  • Using genomes to identify species where barcoding is difficult (e.g., many plants);

  • Identifying ‘dark taxa’ – species in diverse groups such as soil invertebrates, currently known only from gene sequences with no morphological information or name;

  • Measuring genetic diversity within species;
  • Developing sampling methods to preserve specimens while still releasing sufficient DNA for barcoding and genome sequencing.

The first step to fully integrating Europe’s DNA-barcoding and full-genome-sequencing communities is addressing disparities in capacity across the continent. We are achieving this through integrated training events to share protocols, procedures, methods, and expertise and promote joint working to connect and grow the biodiversity genomics community including professional and citizen scientists. Training and research are focused around pollinator genetic diversity, exploring yet-to-be-described insect species, building genetic tools for plant species identification, and developing FAIR data infrastructures.

“We aim to connect expertise from the iBOL Europe and ERGA networks to work towards an increasingly integrated future. Both existing networks recognise the potential for economies of scale and the need to standardise activities and harmonise data management to enable scaling up of biodiversity genomics.”

Dr. Robert Waterhouse, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland