The 2nd Meeting of the Science Steering Committee (SSC) of the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL) was held recently in Canada. Mr. ZHANG Xian’en, Director General of the Department of Basic Research of MOST led a Chinese delegation to attend the event. 98 SSC members from 26 countries participated in the meeting. Participants reviewed the achievements of the Project and discussed plans for the next five years.
Understanding biological diversity is of great urgency for mankind to promote sustainable development against the backdrop of deepened globalization and climate change. That is why rapid identification of species and sustained utilization of diversified biological resources have attracted worldwide attention. In 2003, Dr. Paul Herbert, Professor of the University of Guelph and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada proposed standards and frameworks for identifying species based on gene fragments and initiated the iBOL. The application of DNA barcode boasts a bright future in species identification, health and quarantine, identification of important strategic biological resources, discovery of new species resources, etc.
As an early member, China is one of the four central nodes in the iBOL (the other three are Canada, the US and EU). China is mainly responsible for iBOL’s implementation in Asian, providing technical support and personnel training for other regional or country nodes in Asia, and contributing to the building of the reference library of five million DNA barcodes in the next five years.