CBG Units: Collections, Education & Outreach
Scope: Field research vehicle acquiring samples of aquatic and terrestrial organisms across North America
Project Duration: 2012-Ongoing
Stage: In Progress
The BIObus is a field research vehicle specialising in the collection of specimens for DNA barcoding. It supports an on-going effort to gather voucher specimens of all animal species in Canada. Our goal is to collect specimens from a broad range of taxa and subsequently to recover high-quality sequences of 648 base pairs of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI, the standard animal DNA barcode). These specimens and their sequences then become part of the growing collection of reference DNA barcodes of Canadian animals on the Barcode of Life Data Systems.
Even while under construction, this reference library is intended for use by the broader scientific and amateur naturalist community. These reference DNA barcodes are linked to authoritatively identified voucher specimens deposited in major collections where they are accessible for examination and in-depth analyzes by all interested researchers. Until a species gains a formal taxonomic identification, each divergent barcode group (>2% from the nearest neighbour) is assigned an interim provisional unique identifier. This permits the necessary subsequent taxonomic revisions to be completed at maximum efficiency.