In conjunction with the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) and the Census of Marine Life (CoML), PLoS is pleased to announce the launch of the new MarBOL (Marine Barcode of Life) Collection. This collection highlights the wide variety of applications and research relating to DNA barcoding.
DNA barcoding is a technique that uses a short DNA sequence from a standardized position in the genome as a molecular diagnostic tool for species-level identification. Barcodes have been used for forensics, seafood safety, identification of prey in gut contents, and detection of invasive species. Researchers also use barcodes to delimit species boundaries, reveal cryptic species, and discover new species.
DNA barcode sequences are very short relative to the entire genome and can be obtained reasonably quickly and cheaply. Recent advances in sequencing technology allow the use of barcodes for rapid automated biodiversity assessment. With DNA barcoding emerging as a global standard for identifying species, this technique is not only a reference resource for taxonomy; it has also become a powerful tool for accelerating species-level analysis of biodiversity and for facilitating conservation efforts.
The first publications in the PLoS MarBOL Collection showcase barcoding studies in a variety of marine phyla. Researchers hope that this collection will reflect the progress of marine barcoding and help accelerate the use of this technology. By building a well-populated library of marine barcode records, researchers aim to accelerate their research and make their findings more accessible for applied uses. To date, over 20,000 marine species have been barcoded.
The MarBOL Collection will be featured in the pilot version of the PLoS Hub for Biodiversity, which will be launched later this year. This groundbreaking resource will aggregate relevant articles from a range of open-access sources including our own journal websites and PubMed Central. Please check out the call for articles to find out more about publishing your Biodiversity research in the PLoS journals.