Monday, June 27, 2016

5 Million barcodes

Did anybody notice? Perhaps not, as it happened with no celebratory noise or big announcements. A few days ago BOLD surpassed the 5 Million Barcode mark. The species count is very close to 550,000.

In the days of High-Throughput Sequencing it is not a big thing to upload Millions of sequences to one of the short read archives on the large genomic databases but hosting 5 Million DNA barcode records is a very different thing. These records come with a wealth of metadata, invaluable information that connects a short sequence to a specific specimen, a barcode voucher. 

By now everybody who uses DNA barcoding in one way or another should know that BOLD is the go-to site for DNA-based identification and barcode data management and analysis. Over the last 12 years it served as the central informatics platform for DNA barcoding and played a crucial role in assimilating and organizing data gathered by the international barcode research community. It is a very powerful workbench and analytics tool even more powerful now with more than 5 Million records under the hood. 

Behind every record stands a precious specimen, collected, databased, imaged and sequenced by researchers working on the vision of a bio-literate world. So, it is not only time to congratulate the BOLD team to this important milestone but also the large international barcoding community that has been tirelessly building this invaluable source of biodiversity knowledge. 

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