a short DNA sequence, from a uniform locality on the genome, used for identifying species

DNA barcoding:
an emerging global standard for identifying species

DNA Barcode Blog:
where we write about and illustrate the latest news about DNA barcoding

DNA Barcoding Projects

NYCFish (“Sushi-gate”): identifying marketplace fish

DNAHouse: exploring urban environment

TeaBOL: identifying ingredients in traditional and herbal teas

ExoticBOL: detecting invasive insect pests at port of entry

TreeParser: Klee visualization of DNA barcode datasets

Mapping genetic diversity in the American cockroach

NYC/NJ Aquatic Environmental DNA (eDNA) Project

DNA Barcoding Resources

Barcoding Life Highlights 2013

Illustrated report sponsored by International Barcode of Life (iBOL) and Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL)

download pdf

Top Ten Reasons for Barcoding Life

  1. Works with fragments.
  2. Works for all stages of life.
  3. Unmasks look-alikes.
  4. Reduces ambiguity.
  5. Makes expertise go further.
  6. Democratizes access.
  7. Opens the way for an electronic handheld field guide, the Life Barcoder.
  8. Sprouts new leaves on the tree of life.
  9. Demonstrates value of collections.
  10. Speeds writing the encyclopedia of life.

download illustrated flyer (PDF) (Sep 2004)

Barcoding Life Illustrated

A brief brochure on the goals, rationale, and early results of this new technology for species identification and biodiversity science. (Jan 2005)

download PDF (English)

download PDF (Portugues)

download Powerpoint


An engagingly illustrated update on DNA barcoding (Scientific American, Oct 2008)

Scientific American: Barcode of Life download PDF copy


The Rockefeller University

The Sloan Foundation


About this site

This web site is an outgrowth of the Taxonomy, DNA, and Barcode of Life meeting held at Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, September 9-12, 2003. It is designed and managed by Mark Stoeckle, Perrin Meyer, and Jason Yung at the Program for the Human Environment (PHE) at The Rockefeller University.

About the Program for the Human Environment

The involvement of the Program for the Human Environment in DNA barcoding dates to Jesse Ausubel's attendance in February 2002 at a conference in Nova Scotia organized by the Canadian Center for Marine Biodiversity. At the conference, Paul Hebert presented for the first time his concept of large-scale DNA barcoding for species identification. Impressed by the potential for this technology to address difficult challenges in the Census of Marine Life, Jesse agreed with Paul on encouraging a conference to explore the contribution taxonomy and DNA could make to the Census as well as other large-scale terrestrial efforts. In his capacity as a Program Director of the Sloan Foundation, Jesse turned to the Banbury Conference Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, whose leader Jan Witkowski prepared a strong proposal to explore both the scientific reliability of barcoding and the processes that might bring it to broad application. Concurrently, PHE researcher Mark Stoeckle began to work with the Hebert lab on analytic studies of barcoding in birds. Our involvement in barcoding now takes 3 forms: assisting the organizational development of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life and the Barcode of Life Initiative; contributing to the scientific development of the field, especially by studies in birds, and contributing to public understanding of the science and technology of barcoding and its applications through improved visualization techniques and preparation of brochures and other broadly accessible means, including this website. While the Sloan Foundation continues to support CBOL through a grant to the Smithsonian Institution, it does not provide financial support for barcoding research itself or support to the PHE for its research in this field.