Introduction to DNA Barcoding provides students with a basic understanding of DNA-based approaches for species identification and discovery. By exploring the historical framework for species identification, students have the opportunity to learn why DNA barcoding represents an advance in the field. The program then proceeds into explorations of barcode workflows and culminates in an overview of applications. The course units cover basic knowledge of genetics necessary to understand the method and the choice of particular molecular markers as standards for different taxonomic groups. A unit on the analysis and interpretation of results is also included. Several units showcase the different applications of DNA barcoding, with a focus on socio-economic issues.
Metabarcoding is a rapidly evolving method for assessing biodiversity from environmental DNA. It has a wide range of applications: biodiversity monitoring, animal diet assessment, and reconstruction of paleo communities, among others. DNA metabarcoding relies on molecular techniques such as PCR and next generation sequencing, and requires competence in bioinformatics and biostatistics to analyze sequencing results. This approach integrates several scientific areas and requires a broad range of skills in addition to the basic knowledge related to the considered research topic. This program will provide an overview of the state of current technology and the various platforms that are used. The course consists of a series of online lectures and research exercises introducing different aspects of metabarcoding and environmental DNA research. It also touches on the suite of bioinformatics tools available for sequence analysis and data interpretation.
Regulatory science can benefit from barcoding technology to give precise identification to the species level of traded commodities, as well as preserving identity chains where close substitutes or counterfeits disrupt economics and trust between partners. Barcoding is relevant in these respects to trade associated with forestry, capture and culture fisheries, and terrestrial agriculture including commodity crops, fruits, and food animals. In addition to the authentication and traceability functions, barcoding can also serve an important role in the identification and surveillance of pests. It may even be possible to use barcoding technology for identity preservation systems traded commodities such as crops where adventitious presence of un-approved varieties threatens trade and brings the risk of economic loss. This program will provide an overview of the state of current technology and the various platforms used. The course consists of a series of online lectures and research exercises introducing different aspects of regulatory and forensic DNA barcoding research. We will also touch on the suite of bioinformatics tools available for sequence analysis and data interpretation.
For further information, please visit the course site here.
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For more details on educational and outreach offerings, please contact Dr. Dirk Steinke, Associate Director – Research Coordination:
- +1 519 824-4120 x 53759