Bulgarian Barcode of Life to support research and conservation in the country

03 October 2023

On 27 September 2023, 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.

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.

“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, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

BgBOL was created by seven academic institutions: Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics (BAS), Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem ResearchNational Museum of Natural History (BAS), Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”AgroBioInstitute (Agricultural Academy), University of Forestry, and the publisher of Metabarcoding and MetagenomicsPensoft, well-known as a publisher, but also a tech innovator in the field of biodiversity research. 

The consortium was officially announced at a DNA barcoding symposium, held at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).

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, as this is a huge step forward in advancing DNA barcoding research in Bulgaria and highlights Pensoft's continued dedication to the study and, ultimately, the preservation of the conservation of the country's amazing biodiversity,” comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev.

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