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Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding

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Welcome to the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding

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The Birth of DNA Barcoding:
Since its inception at the University of Guelph in 2003, the DNA barcoding initiative has gathered momentum, gained extensive international participation in the form of the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL), and captured attention of the scientific community, government agencies, and the general public. Spear-headed by Paul Hebert, this worldwide DNA barcoding initiative is supported by the sequencing facilities at the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB), located in the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO). This centre develops laboratory protocols and maintains theBarcode of Life Data System (BOLD), an online data management system which is central to the global barcoding community for maintaining barcode records and providing a resource to identify unknown animals. CCDB also serves as core facility and headquarters for researchers in the Canadian Barcode of Life Network, enabling them to gather and share ideas and information to advance DNA barcoding research. DNA barcoding has won increasing support across the scientific community as study after study demonstrates its effectiveness. Additional support derives from the fact that DNA barcoding protocols promise to raise the quality of genomic data, by establishing a persistent linkage between gene sequences and their source specimen. The growing scientific support for DNA barcoding has provoked substantial funding commitments, especially in Canada. 

Advances and Innovations:
DNA barcoding is a fast rising field, having now moved from a concept to an international movement. Analytical barriers have been surmounted, costs have been reduced and the effectiveness of the approach has been shown in varied geographic settings and taxonomic groups. However, past work has also made it clear that DNA barcoding cannot properly be advanced at an artisanal scale. It needs core facilities operating under standard protocols to rapidly and cheaply execute sequence analysis, and it needs broad coalitions of researchers to gather and identify specimens for analysis (and curate them once barcoded). It further needs support from the bioinformatics community and from private sector partners who will create the devices that will meet the need for both point-of-contact barcode analysis and for massive screening of specimens.  The Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding is the first large-scale core facility for DNA barcoding in the world, and sits at the forefront of this research field. 

Our mission at the CCDB is to advance species identification and discovery through the analysis of short, standardized gene regions known as DNA barcodes.  DNA barcoding is based on a simple, but powerful premise.  It argues that sequence diversity in short, standardized gene regions can provide a sophisticated tool for both the identification of known species and the discovery of new ones. Furthermore, by shifting the process of species recognition from traditional morphological approaches to one based on discrete genetic codes, DNA barcoding promises rapid automated identifications. We welcome you to explore this site to learn more about us, DNA barcoding, current research, and related newsworthy events.

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