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Introduction to DNA Barcoding will provide students with a basic understanding of DNA-based approaches for species identification and discovery. Students will have the opportunity to explore the historical framework for species identification to learn why DNA barcoding represents an advance. The program will then proceed into explorations of barcode workflows and culminate in an overview of applications. The course units will cover basic knowledge of genetics necessary to understand the method and the choice of particular molecular markers as standards for different taxonomic groups. This will also include a unit on analysis and interpretation of results. Several units will showcase the different applications of DNA Barcoding with a focus on socio-economic issues. Furthermore, the benefits for basic research especially in the fields of taxonomy, ecology, and evolution will be explored.
Course Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, the successful student will be able to
- Describe and comprehend the genetic background of DNA Barcoding, and evaluate potential technical challenges.
- Identify species by performing data base queries with common databases and interpretation of results.
- Critically evaluate studies that utilized DNA-based taxonomy.
- Develop skills to make informed decisions about molecular marker choice and laboratory needs.
- Synthesize knowledge and effectively communicate about DNA Barcoding for grant proposals and interaction with policy makers.
Foundations of DNA Barcoding
- The state of biodiversity science
- The taxonomic impediment
- The short history of a discipline
Community standards and best practices
- The importance of standards
- The markers of choice and their specifics
- Specimen preparation and laboratory workflows
DNA Barcode analytics
- Data repositories (BOLD, INSDC databases)
- Methods for species identification by querying data repositories
- Tree building methods and sequence analysis
DNA Barcoding and Taxonomy
- Voucher specimens
- Integrated taxonomy
- Cryptic species
Applied DNA Barcoding I (Ecology, Conservation Biology & Evolution)
- DNA Barcoding in ecology
- How DNA Barcoding can aid in Conservation biology
- The evolution of a gene
Applied DNA Barcoding II (Food safety, Pest and Health Management, Invasive Species)
- Do you really know what you eat? DNA Barcoding for food and drug safety
- Detection of agricultural pests and disease vectors
- DNA Barcoding in early-warning systems concerning invasive species
Applied DNA Barcoding III (Biosurveillance, Habitat Monitoring)
- Species inventories
- DNA Barcoding of indicator species
- Long term monitoring utilizing modern genetics
Future trends in DNA Barcoding
- Next generation sequencing
- Environmental DNA detection
- Miniaturization and mobile devices
Dirk Steinke, Director, Ed. & Outreach, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Minimum high school leaving certificate or secondary school diploma with biology credits.
Your performance in the course will be assessed through two online quizzes, five written assignments, and participation in online discussions.
- Online Quizzes – 2 x 10%
- Online Discussion – 3 x 10%
- Assignments – 5 x 10%
$995.00 Plus HST. Register 30 days in advance and take advantage of the Early Bird Registration Fee.
Type and Location
This is a eight-week, online (web-based) continuing education course providing 30 hours of instruction.
This is an online, web-based course. There is a schedule of studies and course activities each week. You may log on and off the website at any time during the week.