Sujeevan Ratnasingham, Chief Architect of BOLD Systems. (Photo courtesy Centre for Biodiversity Genomics)
Through DCI’s format of linked content and summary information, BOLD data is presented within the broader context of scholarly research, enabling users to gain insights that might be lost when data sets or repositories are viewed in isolation.
BOLD was originally developed by Ratnasingham, a computer scientist and CBG Director, Prof. Paul Hebert, to support the generation and application of data from ‘DNA barcodes’ – a method that uses short, standardized genetic markers to identify species. First developed in 2003, DNA barcoding led to the official launch of BOLD Systems two years later.
BOLD features four modules; a data portal, an educational portal, a registry of Barcode Identification Numbers (BINs) – or putative species – and, a data collection and analysis workbench. Today, BOLD has more than 25,000 registered users, based in 200 nations and draws nearly one million unique visitors each year.
The International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium, a network of researchers and research organizations in more than 30 nations rely heavily on BOLD Systems data. iBOL launched its latest research program, BIOSCAN, in June 2019 with an aim to further grow biodiversity data in BOLD, with the ultimate aim of creating a baseline to better monitor changes in biodiversity.
“BOLD bridges innovative genomics technologies and traditional biodiversity science, to create a unique data resource with broad applications,” said Ratnasingham. “BOLD’s inclusion in the DCI serves as recognition of the utility and importance of the resource and the system.”
International Barcode of Life Consortium
The International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium is a research alliance with a mission to develop and apply a globally accessible, DNA-based system for the discovery and identification of all multicellular life. Our vision is to illuminate biodiversity for the benefit of our living planet.