Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre (NBIC) has announced NOK 1 million (about €100,105/$112,000 USD) in new funding per year for 2020 and 2021 to support the ongoing research activities of the Norwegian Barcode of Life (NorBOL) in Norway.
The funds will ensure that taxa being inventoried in the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative (NTI) – a program whose mission is to increase knowledge of little-known species and species groups in Norway – will get barcodes in the Barcode of Life Data (BOLD) System.
BOLD, an informatics platform used by researchers and citizens around the world, assembles molecular, morphological, and distributional data and already includes about 25,000 barcodes (approx. 6,500 species) from the NTI.
NTI projects are led by highly-skilled taxonomic specialists who are establishing specimens that will serve as excellent vouchers, or reference, for examining DNA barcodes. DNA barcodes generated through collaborations with NorBOL are also of great value to the NTI-projects that are working to increase knowledge of Norwegian biota’s taxonomy and it’s geographic distribution.
NorBOL recently gained support from the Norwegian Environment Agency to fill existing gaps in the barcode library of Norwegian insects. Building a comprehensive library will enable the Agency to take full advantage of species data as it plans its own biodiversity monitoring programs using metabarcoding and environmental DNA (eDNA) methods.
Finally, the NBIC funding will build capacity for NorBOL’s national network activities which includes hands-on workshops and professional through courses arranged by the Research School in Biosystematics (ForBio).
NorBOL is a member of the International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL), a global research alliance that is developing and employing DNA-based identification systems required to deliver a detailed understanding of global biodiversity. The Consortium’s new research program, BIOSCAN aims to expand the DNA barcode reference library to provide coverage for two million species. It will also probe interactions among these species and scan species distribution across 2,000 sites. BIOSCAN will lay the foundation for a global biodiversity monitoring system.
International Barcode of Life Consortium
Torbjørn Ekrem, PhD
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.