The Austrian Barcode of Life (ABOL) Initiative

ABOL is acquiring funds, activating diverse applications of DNA barcoding, developing skills within the network, and increasing public awareness for biodiversity.
Participants of the 5th ABOL meeting in Austria.

PHOTO CREDIT: Austrian Barcode of Life

The common long-term aim to generate and provide DNA barcodes for all species of animals, plants, and fungi recorded from Austria is the binding force of the Austrian Barcode of Life (ABOL) initiative.

A number of independently funded projects currently generate DNA barcode data and all of them are committed to open access data sharing. In only 5 years, ABOL has come close to collecting barcodes for 10 per cent of Austrian biodiversity; about 6,250 named species are currently stored on the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD).

The coordination of ABOL is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Research at the Natural History Museum in Vienna and involves, apart from the recruitment of projects, the maintenance of its working database and webpage, as well as the organization of workshops and annual meetings. The 5th ABOL meeting took place from the 6th – 7th of December 2018 at the Natural History Museum Vienna and involved about 180 participants. The meeting included information and updates about running projects and the potential of DNA barcoding in Austria.

Building the reference library necessary for the genetic identification of organisms is the main goal of ABOL. It seeks to stimulate biodiversity research by acquiring funds, fostering diverse applications of DNA barcoding, building up and exchanging skills within the network, and increasing public awareness for biodiversity. ABOL considers itself a platform for the coordination and promotion of all research dealing with Austrian biodiversity.

According to its decentralized structure, ABOL unites all relevant Austrian institutions involved in biodiversity research. Representatives from museums, universities, biosphere parks, national parks, research institutions, researchers, federal and regional conservation departments, and scientific societies all contribute to the achievement of ABOL’s aims.

The various representative working with ABOL.

PHOTO CREDIT: Austrian Barcode of Life

Written by

Nikolaus Szucsich

Nikolaus Szucsich

Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Michaela Sonnleitner

Michaela Sonnleitner

Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Elizabeth Haring

Elizabeth Haring

Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Helmut Sattmann

Helmut Sattmann

Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria

April 7, 2019

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