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81 species
98 vouchers
168 DNA probes
46 sequences

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Welcome to the National Plant, Fungi and Animal DNA Bank
Written by Wiesław Bogdanowicz   
poniedziałek, 28 lipiec 2008
ImageNational Plant, Fungi and Animal DNA Bank in Poland is a new initiative of five Polish scientific institutions using DNA barcoding for researching as well as for many practical purposes. DNA Bank stores biological material as a source of DNA samples for the future research projects. The DNA Bank aims to enlarge our knowledge about species of plants, fungi and animals using the up-to-date standards and techniques.

DNA barcoding is a powerful tool which is used to precisely identify species even from small parts of tissue. The life stage of the organism is not important - it can be egg or larva. Precise species identification is essential for research and conservation of biodiversity. It is also fundamental for many other practical and commercial purposes.

This webpage has two aims. Firstly, it is a source of basic knowledge about DNA barcoding for anybody interested in the subject. Secondly, thanks to dedicated database the gathered barcodes of species are stored and presented on the webpage.
 
Biological Barcodes - new methods of species identification
Written by Wiesław Bogdanowicz   
wtorek, 05 sierpień 2008
ImageVast numbers of species are still waiting to be discovered. Although nothing can replace the work of classical taxonomists, biologists now want to speed up and simplify the identification of species by creating catalogs of genetic barcodes

In the mid 18th century, Swedish naturalist Carol Linnaeus's work Systema Naturae introduced the binomial system (consisting of two parts) of biological nomenclature, set forth descriptions of some 7700 plant and 4000 animal species, and thereby laid the foundations of modern taxonomy. In the 230 years since them, researchers have cataloged a total of some 1.7 million species of eukaryotes, or organisms whose cells possess clear cellular nuclei (a group that includes plants, fungi, and animals). Still, that figure is not high when one considers that the number of living eukaryote species is estimated at least 10 million!

Taxonomists wanted

It might seem that the identification of millions more species is just a matter of time. But the pace is hampered by the fact that there are simply not enough taxonomist biologists in the world (and their numbers are growing fewer) and that not many researchers are capable of identifying more than 1,000 species. Moreover, species identification on the basis of morphological traits can be a time-consuming and arduous endeavor. Fortunately, the development of effective methods for extracting, purifying, and analyzing DNA, the ever-greater computing power offered by computers, and the emergence of the field of bioinformatics are nowadays making it possible to rapidly identify species on the basis of DNA sequences alone.
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Project's Participants
Written by Tadeusz Malewski   
poniedziałek, 28 lipiec 2008
Uczestnicy projektu
Institutions
Four research institutions have established Polish DNA Bank in 2006: Museum and Institute of Zoology Polish Academy of Sciences (MIZ PAN), W. Szafer Institute of Botany Polish Academy of Sciences (IB PAN), Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (IHAR) and Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding PAN in Jastrzębiec (IGHZ PAN). Those are leading research institutions in Poland; MIZ PAN owns one of the biggest and most valuable zoological collections in Europe, IB PAN owns the biggest collection of plants and fungi in Poland. There are high-tech labs in those institutions which participate in many prestigious international projects and cooperate with similar European labs. Two other organisations (IHAR i IGHZ PAN) are also leading institutions in the area of (respectively) biodiversity of field crops and biodiversity of domestic animals. The fifth member Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Zielona Gora (WNB UZ) joined the project in year 2008. WNB UZ has biological material of species from the CITES list and vast collection of excavation materials.  Bioinformatics and Modelling Laboratory of University of Zielona Gora has experience in collecting and processing data about DNA sequences as well as in comparison analysis.
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Why do we need DNA Bank?
Written by Robert Rutkowski   
czwartek, 24 lipiec 2008
Image The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) contains almost complete information about functioning of organism, from the simple cell processes and anatomic structure to character traits. We can precisely read this information due to the enormous development in the field of molecular biology in the twentieth century.

At the same time genetic engineering allows us to change how the genes work - in the minor extent we can control their expression. It is difficult to predict how far will the scientists go with developing and using molecular biology. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that at the moment DNA is very valuable source of information about surrounding world.

There is a need to maintain DNA sources present in the nature as well as those stored in scientific laboratories. One of the attempts to achieve it is DNA Bank. This institution will store DNA extractions as well as vouchers, tissues and other biological material which will be the source of DNA for the future. One of the main function of the bank will be using its resources for barcoding - genetic system of species identification, which helps to study the and understand the nature.

The amount of knowledge we gathered thanks to DNA investigations is enormous. New branches of biology came into being because of that: molecular taxonomy, molecular ecology. It is also used in the process of saving endangered species.
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