On 27 September 2023, during a specialised symposium on DNA barcoding at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Bulgarian Barcode of Life (BgBOL), a Bulgarian DNA barcoding consortium, was founded.
By becoming the latest national node to join the International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL), the main task before BgBOL will be to coordinate, support, and promote DNA barcoding research in Bulgaria, with a primary focus on the study and preservation of the country’s biodiversity.
“The Bulgarian Barcode of Life opens up new horizons and opportunities to study and understand the biodiversity in Bulgaria,”says Dr Georgi Bonchev, Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).
DNA barcoding is a method to identify individual organisms based on nucleotide sequences captured from short, predefined and standardised segments of DNA.
The formation of the BgBOL consortium is expected to strengthen the network of collaborations, ultimately contributing to the broader dissemination and popularisation of DNA barcoding research in the region.BgBOL was created by seven academic institutions: Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics (BAS), Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, National Museum of Natural History (BAS), Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, AgroBioInstitute (Agricultural Academy), University of Forestry, and Pensoft in its role of a scientific publisher and tech innovator well-known in the field of biodiversity science.
As part of the event, Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev led a discussion on the publication, dissemination and management of DNA barcoding data. His presentation also touched on the relevant biodiversity data workflows and tools currently in development at Pensoft with the support of the Horizon 2020-funded project BiCIKL (abbreviation for Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library).
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the establishment of the Bulgarian Barcode of Life! This is a huge step forward in advancing DNA barcoding research in Bulgaria and, ultimately, the preservation of the country’s amazing biodiversity,”comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev.
About the International Barcode of Life:
The International Barcode of Life Consortium is a research alliance undertaking the largest global biodiversity science initiative: create a digital identification system for life that is accessible to everyone.
iBOL is working to establish an Earth observation system that will discover species, reveal their interactions, and establish biodiversity baselines. The consortium is tracking ecosystems across the planet and exploring symbiomes – the distinct fungal, plant, and animal species associated with host organisms. Our goal is to complete this research and establish baseline data for science and society’s benefit.