- Manuel Elias-Gutierrez
- El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chetumal
- Virginia León
- Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
- Managing Biodiversity for the Benefit of Society
- To develop a rigorous DNA-based identification system for all eukaryotes, and to apply this new tool to better manage, discover and protect global biodiversity.
- – To promote in Mexico the DNA barcoding as part of the routine work for taxonomists and biological collections.
- – To speed up the description, understanding and conservation of Mexican Biodiversity.
- – To help educate the public and more professionals into modern techniques of biodiversity science.
Mexico is in the top 10 of world biodiversity hotspots. We will include barcoding in inventories of the biological resources of the nation, and we will collaborate with neighbouring Central American countries in this work.
The Mexican Barcode of Life (MEXBOL), sponsored by CONACYT, will be the main network for researchers interested in barcoding. An initial eight working groups have been established: Vascular plants and grasses; Fungi; Insects; Tropical Biotas; Aquatic Invertebrates; Fish; Arachnida; and Mammals.
Mexico has a strong and active community of taxonomists. MEXBOL has been promoting DNA barcoding among this community as a way to add value to their work.
Another of MEXBOL’s primary goals is to barcode the country’s biological collections, whenever possible. It also recognizes the need to promote new collecting and to make sure that this fresh material is barcoded by convincing researchers with current projects of the additional value DNA barcoding brings to their work.
In many cases (e.g. 80% of fishes) the first stages of the life cycles remain unknown. MEXBOL is stressing the importance of knowing all life stages of species of importance.
MEXBOL is urging ministries to conduct routine barcoding of species of sanitary or economical importance, such as Anopheles mosquitos. And it is participating in the development of barcoding protocols for difficult groups such as rotifers, crustaceans, nematodes, fungi and some families of plants.