The History of DNA Barcoding

Uploaded by DNALearningCenter on 21.11.2011

DNA barcoding really started in two thousand three and it started
with Canadian scientist Paul Hebert at University of Guelph, wrote
a paper
saying that we could use short DNA sequences from a certain region, a
standardized region of the genome, to identify species.
And he said and we could call these DNA barcodes, and this is really by
analogy with,
you know, when you go through the supermarket and you go to check out, the cashier
doesn't have to read the label, they just scan it and as much faster than
reading labels so the idea was could we develop a system for species that would
have some of those same features where we can use a machine to read the DNA,
in a sense match that to a name, and that would help us identify things which is
really difficult to do.
There are
about two million named species of plants and animals
and that's far more than any one person can keep track of
and then in addition, a lot of things have different life stages, their eggs,
their larvae,
or you might want to know what's in the stomach, what does something to eat.
When this started in two thousand three, it was an idea that Paul Hebert
proposed and that led to a workshop, two workshops actually, at Cold Spring Harbor.
One in March and then another one in the following September to get
other scientists together to say okay
that's a nice idea but
really is it going to work?
Because of that time there weren't barcodes for many species and
is it going to work
and how we're, if it's going to work, how we're gonna make it work. And from
the beginning it was clear it was a way of
taking science
knowledge of experts and making it available to a much wider number of people.
So two thousand three it was an idea
and as of today there now over a million barcode records that's from
a million different specimens each one is which been identified individually by
a specialist so
the next phase is to go from a million records two five million records,
go from a hundred thousand species to five hundred thousand species, and
we've got a wonderful group of international collaborators that are
dedicated to
working on their group or their country to make a bar coding effective
really around the world.