Of the estimated 10 million species that exist on our planet, only just over a million have so far been identified and described.
Using traditional taxonomy, it would take at least another 2000 years to identify Earth’s remaining species. With DNA barcoding, we can vastly accelerate this rate of biodiversity discovery and conservation as well as generate significant scientific and economic benefits for the mining, fisheries and forestry industries.
The national collaborative project will focus on five key areas with immediate strategic value:
- verifying timber origins to combat illegal timber trading;
- authenticating labelling and geographical origin of fish in the retail marketplace;
- mapping plant biodiversity in the Pilbara to help with mine site environmental impact assessment and restoration management;
- biodiversity discovery and impact assessment of invertebrates that inhabit underground aquifers utilised by mining and farming; and
- generating barcodes for Australia’s orchids to enhance conservation.
The project is led by Professor Andrew Lowe from the University of Adelaide in a partnership with scientists from Kings Park Botanic Garden, CSIRO, Australian Tropical Herbarium, the South Australian Museum, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and WA Department of Parks and Wildlife. Bioplatforms Australia is managing the project and will provide access to DNA sequencing infrastructure and genomics and bioinformatics expertise.
The project is also supported by Fortescue Metals Group, the Australian Government and BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities through the Bush Blitz program, FORDA (the Indonesian Forest Research and Development Agency) and DoubleHelix Tracking Technologies.
For further information please visit the Bioplatforms Australia Metadata Portal: https://downloads.bioplatforms.com/
Andrew Lowe | T: 08 8313 1149 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Gilbert | T: 02 9850 8281 | email@example.com
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