Pre-conference workshops were held on Monday August 17 in Rozanski Hall.

BOLD Workshop

The Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) is broadly recognized as the authoritative site for DNA barcode-based identification of animal and plant life. As the only informatics platform dedicated to DNA barcoding, BOLD plays a crucial role in assimilating and organizing data gathered by the international barcode research community. BOLD is an informatics workbench for the acquisition, storage, analysis, and publication of DNA barcode records. It bridges a long-standing bioinformatics chasm by assembling molecular, morphological, and distributional data. As a result, it provides specialized services to researchers, helping them to assemble records that meet the standards for BARCODE designation in global sequence databases. BOLD is hosted at the University of Guelph where it is developed and maintained by an interdisciplinary team of biologists, bioinformaticians, and programmers. Members of this team will offer a pre-conference workshop which will include a lecture/discussion session in the morning open to all interested participants followed by an afternoon hands-on session limited to 50 registrants.

Topics of discussion will include: Overview of the latest version of BOLD; Best practices for data publication; Analytical workflows including the integration of tools outside BOLD; Data mining methods and tools; Access of the BOLD database using scripting languages (e.g. Python, R, Javascript); NGS workflows supported by BOLD.

Next-Generation Sequencing Workshop

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies have become the main source for generating genomic data for bio-life science applications. The Barcode of Life initiative has taken advantage of these technologies mainly to obtain sequence information from bulk environmental samples or environmental DNA (e.g. environmental barcoding; metabarcoding) for varied investigations from ecological biomonitoring to diet analysis. Additionally, recent improvements to sequence length and quality obtained from NGS devices could provide a means of obtaining DNA barcodes from individual specimens for assembling barcode libraries and identifying unknown specimens.

Researchers at BIO have been at the forefront of applying NGS in DNA barcoding. Following the very successful NGS pre-conference workshop at the 5th International Barcode of Life Conference in Kunming, China, we are pleased to offer a pre-conference workshop to update the participants of the 6th International Barcode of Life Conference on current applications of NGS in environmental barcoding, as well as specimen identification and multi-gene analysis. The workshop will discuss critical issues related to experimental design, sampling, selecting NGS platform and sequencing depth, quality control procedures, and available bioinformatics approaches.

Workshop Lead: Mehrdad Hajibabaei and Shadi Shokralla

International Society for the Barcode of Life (ISBOL)

During the 5th Conference in Kunming, delegates discussed the desirability of establishing an International Society for the Barcode of Life (ISBOL). Because this plan was strongly supported, the Kunming Declaration included it as a key action item. Signatories to this Declaration and members of iBOL’s International Scientific Collaboration Committee have worked to ensure that ISBOL can be activated at the 6th Conference. A not-for-profit corporation (International Barcode of Life Corp.) has been acquired to provide a formal home for ISBOL. The pre-conference workshop will address other matters required to activate ISBOL, including its relationship with the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), a possible umbrella organization.

As a result, Peter Kevan, IUBS Executive Committee Member, will deliver a plenary lecture to workshop participants on this organization. His presentation will be followed by a panel discussion involving key participants in the Kunming Declaration. The workshop will lead to the establishment of ISBOL, a decision on its committee structure, the recruitment of officers and members, and the investigation of a linkage with the IUBS.

Workshop Chair: David Castle

Barcodes to Biomes