DNA for an individual specimen can be obtained by harvesting a small sample of tissue such as an insect leg, hair/feathers, or mouth swab. DNA for bulk analysis is extracted from the bulk sample of multiple specimens.
Using appropriate primers and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the specific barcode region of the specimen’s DNA is replicated millions of times to prepare it for sequencing.
The amplified DNA sample is fed into a DNA sequencing platform, translating the unknown tissue sample into the nucleic acid sequence that represents its DNA barcode.
The Identification Engine of the Barcode of Life Data System can be used to compare the DNA barcode of an unknown specimen with the entire DNA barcode reference library, to find a match.
Learn more about iBOL
The International Barcode of Life Consortium is a research alliance undertaking the largest global biodiversity science initiative: create a digital identification system for life that is accessible to everyone