Enabling Tools

The primary work of the FISH-BOL campaign is led by various Working Groups that have responsibility for overseeing collections, identifications and barcoding of the fish faunas in their region. The existing species lists associated with 19 marine and seven inland FAO statistical areas provide an organizational framework for these regional teams with an initial goal of sampling five specimens from each species across each area. For certain species exhibiting broad geographic distributions perhaps as many as 25 specimens will be sequenced under this scenario.

The FISH-BOL campaign has adopted Catalog of Fishes as the current global taxonomic authority file. In addition, we are collaborating with FishBase, and ITIS to resolve an integrated checklist incorporating information from each of these sources.

FISH-BOL uses the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) as a workbench for assembling individual projects (Ratnasingham and Hebert 2007). GenBank has fostered broad support for barcoding among other members of the genomics collaborative that include the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) database. The collaborative has agreed to publicly archive DNA sequences from the FISH-BOL project. They have also expanded the fields for core specimen annotation in their database architecture to more effectively serve barcoding. This is primarily related to information pertaining to the voucher specimen from which sequences are derived. GenBank and the collaborative have agreed to annotate sequences with the keyword "BARCODE" when they meet the appropriate guidelines which include: a valid species name, at least 500 bp of double stranded sequence (with fewer than 1% ambiguous base-calls) derived from the 5’ end of the COI gene, reference to a structured record for the voucher specimen from which the sequence was derived, and can also include information on coordinates for the collection locality, collection date, collector, and person who performed the identification. In addition, Barcode entries include reference to the PCR primers used to generate the sequence and can link to the raw data or ‘trace files’ of the sequences themselves, when, as strongly recommended, the traces are deposited in the NCBI Trace Archive.