Pretoria – The two-day workshop aimed to familiarise participants with the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) – the only informatics platform dedicated to DNA barcoding.

The workshop was structured into two main sessions: lectures in the mornings and hands-on training in the afternoons.

Presenters included:

Prof Michelle van der Bank, University of Johannesburg, Director: African Centre for DNA Barcoding (ACDB); Prof Sujeevan Ratnasingham, University of Guelph, Canada, Associate Director, Informatics; Megan Milton, University of Guelph, Canada, Lead Project Manager, Informatics; Dr Adriana Radulovici, University of Guelph, Research Associate, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics; Ronny Kabongo, GeneLetho Labs, Research, Development & Technical Manager.

The following topics were covered during the lectures:

  • Overview of the Barcode of Life Database
  • Assembling Barcode records
  • Barcode Record Lifecycle
  • Data validation
  • Data publication
  • Managing projects
  • Leveraging the reference library
  • Integrated Analytical Tools
  • Advanced Data Models

During the hands-on training participants were split into groups to gain experience navigating the BOLD platform, including the taxonomy browser, BOLD public database, and the workbench. This was followed by the creation of a project, uploading specimen data, images, sequences, and trace files. Some of the data contained errors and the participants had to use the dashboards, reports and tools to identify these errors. Once data was uploaded, the participants had the opportunity to use the analytical tools on BOLD to visualise the data.

Outcome: 45 students/researchers have received training in data submission to BOLD, curation of data, analysis on BOLD and publishing of DNA barcoding data on BOLD to GenBank.