The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has joined the International Barcode of Life Consortium, making India the 33rd nation to indicate its commitment to advancing knowledge of global biodiversity through DNA-based analysis.
“iBOL could never achieve its goals without strong participation by India, the second-most populous nation and a country with tremendous biodiversity” said Paul Hebert, iBOL’s Scientific Director. “Although India has been active in DNA barcoding since its inception, the ZSI, with its hundreds of stations and thousands of staff, is perfectly positioned to lead India’s involvement in iBOL. We thank Dr. Chandra, Director of the ZSI, for his personal involvement in securing the approvals needed for such participation.”
Dr. Vikas Kumar, an eminent molecular taxonomist and senior scientist at the ZSI, will represent India on iBOL’s Science Committee. He brings strong expertise on the insect order Thysanoptera; his research is focused on documenting the rich species diversity and evolutionary relationships of the Indian fauna. Through the use of DNA barcoding, comparative mitogenomics, and metagenomics, Dr. Kumar is exploring their phylogeny at all hierarchical levels from populations to basal relationships. he is also employing environmental DNA (eDNA) to characterize the complex arthropod communities in soil and water and will use high-throughput sequencing to clarify their ecological roles.
Dr. Vikas Kumar, Senior Scientist.
(Photo courtesy Zoological Survey of India)
Dr. Hebert thanked Dr. Kumar for his willingness to serve on iBOL’s Science Committee, noting that his participation will greatly reinforce iBOL’s capacity to advance its BIOSCAN research program.
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.