Update from the Norwegian Barcode of Life Network (NorBOL)

Norway is supporting projects to assess and monitor biodiversity in time and space, authenticate various products, and develop new methodologies with DNA barcode data.
Nereis pelagica barcoded by NorBOL. PHOTO CREDIT: Katrine Kongshavn

Written by

Torbjørn Ekrem

Torbjørn Ekrem

NTNU University Museum, Coordinator of NorBOL, Trondheim, Norway

April 7, 2019

Five years have passed since the Norwegian Barcode of Life (NorBOL) obtained funding from the Norwegian Research Council to develop a national research infrastructure for DNA barcoding in Norway. This funding was the major boost needed to build a barcode reference library for Norwegian and polar biota, but it was also an important driver to ensure knowledge transfer and capacity building for DNA barcoding in Norway.

A central collaborator and funder over the years has been the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative run by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre; they are an important reason why we now have almost 19,000 species barcoded from Norway. The positive synergies between DNA barcoding and inventory projects targeting groups of little-known organisms were highlighted at the 7th iBOL Conference in Kruger.

NorBOL is a geographically distributed infrastructure with four hubs located at the university museums in Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and Trondheim. This has made it possible for us to take advantage of existing expertise and be particularly active in some areas. For instance, the University Museum of Bergen is currently the largest contributor to marine bristle worm data in the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD), while the Tromsø Museum is a key player in developing genome skimming of herbarium material to retrieve barcode regions from the chloroplast genome.

As an established national research infrastructure and member of iBOL, NorBOL continues the collaboration with the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative and seeks additional funding to fill the gaps in the barcode library of Norwegian species. We will also continue supporting applied projects that use the generated data and knowledge to assess and monitor biodiversity in time and space, authenticate various products, and develop methodology.



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