The genetic component of PORBIOTA, provides sequences for species occurring but also contributes to a better understanding of species distribution, by providing a tool that in the future will allow the identification of any species (or body part) collected. Specifically, building and making available a reference collection of DNA barcoding sequences will provide much need information to harness the power of molecular tools in biodiversity monitoring programs.
DNA barcoding provides a powerful tool, by using a short fragment of DNA to assign any organism to a species in a rapid and automated way. One of DNA barcoding strengths is that it allows the identification of organisms based on tissue samples taken from any life stage or almost any body part, or from environmental samples (e.g., water or soil) having application in several fields from ecology, to wildlife forensics and food safety.
The existence of a reference collection of DNA sequences is a crucial step for the successful development of molecular monitoring programs, as it is needed to perform the correct assignment of sequences obtained by DNA metabarcoding methods to taxonomic entities.