DNA Barcoding
North America
Our laboratory and several other researchers across North America are currently involved DNA barcoding, using the mitochondrial CO1 gene, of all North American freshwater fishes. Dr. Richard L. Mayden has been designated the coordinator of the North American fauna for the FISH-BOL initiative. If you have samples of these species that meet the criteria for inclusion in the study you can contact Mayden at the email below for possibly being included in this large-scale initiative.

While some have expressed concerns over the use of DNA barcoding and relying on a single gene, we have taken the perspective that this is an experiment that needs to be evaluated empirically and tested using the CO1 gene and other molecular markers and morphological characters to determine the utility of such a "species DNA barcode". Thus, we and others have entered into the project with an open mind and are very pleased with what the BOL initiative has already done to make major changes in GenBank and other resources that are used on a daily basis by systematists.

For samples to be used in the NAFF barcoding project you will have to have samples of tissue or DNA extracts that are based on (1) vouchered catalogued specimens, (2) photos of the live or preserved specimens, and (3) complete locality data.

If you are interested in this effort and have significant samples please join us in this important effort. If this is of interest to you please contact Richard L. Mayden at for information.

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Create an account with NAFF barcoding initiative?

Visit the DNA barcoding of life or FISH-BOL website for more information.

Drawing by David A. Neely