CBG Atrium

The Centre for Biodiversity Genomics is expanding knowledge of life on our planet.


Bringing Genomics to Biodiversity

Recent News and Publications / From the CBG

The Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (CBG) at the University of Guelph is the global leader in the development and application of DNA-based systems for species identification. Sequence diversity in short, standardized gene regions (DNA barcodes) enables fast, inexpensive, and accurate species discrimination. An efficient and cost-effective approach, DNA barcoding is not only transforming humanity’s capacity to understand biodiversity, but it’s also helping us to better protect it.

With 80 full-time researchers and 40 HQP, the CBG delivers two key services: Genomics and Informatics. The Genomics Unit – the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding – provides sequencing support to thousands of researchers each year, while the Informatics Unit provides platforms, BOLD and mBRAVE, to curate and analyze DNA barcode data. The Centre also hosts a natural history collection containing seven million biological specimens and images that are catalogued and analyzed by taxonomic experts. The CBG also boasts the world’s largest DNA archive for biodiversity.

The CBG also coordinates the International Barcode of Life consortium, supporting researchers and organizations worldwide with access to new tools and information, data, and opportunities to collaborate with thousands of colleagues across 40 countries. It is also the home of the BIOSCAN, a $180M global research program exploring species discovery, species interactions, and species distribution.

Four Canadian agencies provide essential support to the CBG:
Canada First Research Excellence Fund (Tri-Council)
Genome Canada & Ontario Genomics
Major Science Initiatives Fund (CFI)
Transformation 2020 (NFRF)


DNA Metabarcoding Effective for Monitoring Health of Toronto Harbour

Current methods for assessing the health of busy waterways like Toronto Harbour may not reveal the full picture, suggests new research from the University of Guelph. In a new paper recently published in Nature Scientific Reports, U of G-developed DNA metabarcoding technology was shown to be more effective at assessing biodiversity in the harbour than when traditional methods are used alone.


Multi-marker DNA metabarcoding detects suites of environmental gradients from an urban harbour

Robinson CV, Porter TM, McGee KM, McCusker M, Wright MTG, Hajibabaei M


BOLD opens licensing for more than 2.5 million images

“Reducing barriers to the access and utilization of biodiversity data serves to increase uptake and accelerates the generation of new methods and insights,” says Sujeevan Ratnasingham, BOLD’s founding architect. Open licensing allows scientists, artists, and companies to use, adapt, build upon, and redistribute BOLD specimen images in any medium or format, so long as the image creator is credited.


University of Guelph researchers seeing fewer spongy moths in local parks

Despite how present spongy moths were last spring and summer, researchers are noticing a decline in their presence, and other pests, in the trees at municipal parks in Guelph.


CBG researchers rank among the world’s top scientists in ecology and evolution

Three researchers from Guelph’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics are among the world’s 1,000 Top Ecology and Evolution Scientists according to the ranking system developed by Research.com


Message in a Bottle — Metabarcoding enables biodiversity comparisons across ecoregions

Steinke D, deWaard SL, Sones JE, Ivanova NV, Prosser SWJ, Perez K, Braukmann TWA, Milton M, Zakharov EV, deWaard JR, Ratnasingham S, Hebert PDN


Extracting arthropods from bird nests: a compact, budget friendly trap design

Levesque-Beaudin, V