Study DNA Barcoding Online


For the first time, U of G is offering an online course in DNA barcoding.

The introductory-level, eight-week course provides a basic understanding of DNA-based approaches for species identification and discovery. It’s offered through the Office of Open Learning and Educational Support.

Some of the topics discussed will include history of species identification, the steps of DNA barcoding and its socio-economic applications. Students will also get first-hand experience learning how to analyze and interpret DNA barcoding data.

The course is aimed at educators, government staff, students, taxonomists and lab and forensic technicians. It’s being offered this summer, and will also be available in the fall, winter and spring.

First proposed by Guelph integrative biologist Paul Hebert, DNA barcoding allows scientists to identify animal and plant species using short, standardized regions of genetic material. It works for all life stages and allows biologists to rapidly identify species from a snippet of tissue.

Hebert and his research team have honed the novel technique into a multifaceted international research program, and Guelph is now the global hub for DNA barcoding research. Last week, the University opened the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, a state-of-the-art facility that more than triples the space available on campus for using barcoding technology.