What is barcoding?
Barcoding projects have three components:
- The Specimens: Natural history museums, herbaria, zoos, aquaria, frozen tissue collections, seed banks, type culture collections and other repositories of biological materials are treasure troves of identified specimens.
- The Laboratory Analysis: Laboratory protocols can be followed to obtain DNA barcode sequences from these specimens. The best equipped molecular biology labs can produce a DNA barcode sequence in a few hours. The data are then placed in a database for subsequent analysis.
- The Database: One of the most important components of the Barcode Initiative is the construction of a public reference library of species identifiers which could be used to assign unknown specimens to known species.