iBOL Projects

BARCODE 500K, completed in 2015, was the foundation that established the sequencing facilities, analytical protocols, informatics platforms, and international collaboration needed to build the DNA barcode reference libraries. Building on this success, BIOSCAN will launch in June 2019 to scan life and codify species interactions while expanding the reference library and demonstrating its utility. BIOSCAN will be the foundation for the Planetary Biodiversity Mission, a mission to save a living planet.

Project Details

Project 1


Cost: $125 million

Timeline: 2010-2015

Status: Complete in August 2015


  • Deliver DNA barcode coverage for 0.5 million species.
  • Develop the informatics platform and analytical protocols required for the development of the DNA barcode reference library.
  • Establish a core facility to provide sequencing and informatics support.

Project 2


Cost: $180 million

Timeline: 2019-2025

Status: June 2019


  • Deliver DNA barcode coverage for 2.5 million species.
  • Activate biomonitoring for one or more ecoregions in each participating nation & codify species interactions for these sites.
  • Develop informatics support for high-throughput sequencing.
  • Promote applications of DNA barcoding.

Project 3

Planetary Biodiversity Mission

Cost: $500 million

Timeline: 2026-2045

Status: Activation in January 2026


  • Complete the census of all multi-cellular species.
  • Establish a global biosurveillance program.
  • Construct a ‘library of life’ by preserving DNA extracts from all species.

Key Outcomes

Learn more about how iBOL projects have made an impact, provided resources, and communicated ideas.


 dna barcoding applications that address societal challenges

transform biodiversity science by growing research output

support data-driven policy change and capacity building


specimen collection and digitization across natural history collections

informatics platforms for analysis and secure data sharing

sequencing facility for the generation of high-quality barcodes


biennial conference series with global representation

quarterly online newsletter with diverse contributors and large readership

special issue publications surrounding conference and workshop meetings


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