our vision

to illuminate biodiversity

through new DNA technologies and data

Illuminate biodiversity 

by developing globally accessible, DNA-based systems for the discovery and identification of all multicellular life

Our Vision

We share this planet with millions of species. This biodiversity has tremendous intrinsic, societal, and economic benefits but it is under threat. While morphological study has delivered a basic understanding of biodiversity, it cannot discover and identify species on a planetary scale. Our vision is to illuminate biodiversity — every multicellular species —  for the benefit of all life.

We are addressing this challenge by using sequence variation in short gene regions — DNA barcodes — to discover and distinguish species.

Our research mission and programs

Established in 2008, iBOL is a research alliance involving nations with the desire to transform biodiversity science by building the DNA barcode reference libraries, the sequencing facilities, the informatics platforms, the analytical protocols, and the international collaboration required to inventory and assess biodiversity.

iBOL has overseen the completion of one major program, BARCODE 500K, and a second program, BIOSCAN, is now underway. The first program barcoded 500,000 species reflecting the investment of $150 million by research organizations in 25 nations. Building on this success, BIOSCAN will extend barcode coverage to 2.5 million species by 2026. This program will stimulate activation of the Planetary Biodiversity Mission (PBM) – iBOL’s final project. PBM is a research initiative that will deliver a comprehensive understanding of multicellular life by 2045.

Learn more about our programs:

Our History

We have been grounded in science and collaboration from the very beginning. From the first DNA barcoding paper to the launch of BIOSCAN, we are tackling the challenges of species discovery and identification on a planetary scale.

© Copyright 2022 International Barcode of Life Consortium. All Rights Reserved.

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