Acta Biológica Colombiana
Print version ISSN 0120-548X
DNA barcode of life is a global initiative to populate a database of short, standardized DNA fragments from most eukaryotic species to facilitate the identification of whole or fragmented biological samples. Increasing the ability of non-experts to indentify unknown samples should improve our collective understanding and management of the world s biodiversity. In the eight years following its proposal, DNA barcoding remains controversial in the scientific literature due, in part, to a lack of consensus on how DNA barcoding is defined and what activities are included under this rubric. In the present paper we review the definition, methods and goals of DNA barcoding, highlighting how the massive data sets generated by various DNA barcode of life campaigns may be applied to fundamental and novel questions in ecology, evolution and conservation
Keywords : Bioinformatics; Databases; DNA barcode; Genetics; Molecular diagnosis; Systematics; Taxonomy.