PROJECT DETAILS


Dates: 2012

Location: Ontario

Project Type: Data Collection

Grade Level: Senior High School Biology

How to Join: Closed

A cutting-edge citizen science project in which senior high school students from different classrooms collect insects and submit them for DNA barcoding to partners at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Results are then shared with the classes for follow up.

 

DNA barcoding is a molecular approach to species identification. It has been used as a tool for species identification in a wide array of practical applications that include ecological monitoring, verification of research organisms, as well as cell-line and food authentication.

The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario & Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, located at the University of Guelph, is the world's largest facility for the production and analysis of DNA barcodes. Though DNA barcoding has Canadian roots, it has yet to find its way into classrooms in this country despite its relevance to curriculum at many levels. The overarching goal of this project is to

Participating in this project will allow grade 12 biology students to become engaged with and actively participate in a DNA barcoding research project. In a series of interactions over the course of a semester, students will collect insect samples using malaise traps and submit their samples for DNA barcoding. Students will have the opportunity to explore the species identified at their own school (e.g. the rarity of the species identified, the number of different species identified, etc.), and will also compare their results to those of students from different schools. The data generated by the students will be made available on a publicly available database, allowing the students to make a genuine contribution to the scientific community.

DNA barcoding is a molecular approach to species identification. It has been used as a tool for species identification in a wide array of practical applications that include ecological monitoring, verification of research organisms, as well as cell-line and food authentication. 

The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario & Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, located at the University of Guelph, is the world's largest facility for the production and analysis of DNA barcodes. Though DNA barcoding has Canadian roots, it has yet to find its way into classrooms in this country despite its relevance to curriculum at many levels. The overarching goal of this project is to facilitate the introduction of DNA barcoding to high school students in Canada. 

Participating in this project will allow grade 12 biology students to become engaged with and actively participate in a DNA barcoding research project. In a series of interactions over the course of a semester, students will collect insect samples using malaise traps and submit their samples for DNA barcoding. Students will have the opportunity to explore the species identified at their own school (e.g. the rarity of the species identified, the number of different species identified, etc.), and will also compare their results to those of students from different schools. The data generated by the students will be made available on a publicly available database, allowing the students to make a genuine contribution to the scientific community. 

Additional Resources

Activities

Mock Food Authentication Study

Students learn how to use BOLD to identify sequences, and how DNA barcoding can be used to identify mislabeling of food products.

Sanger Sequencing

Students will learn how Sanger sequencing works in this hands-on activity that simulates the process. Discussion questions are provided. https://www.dnalc.org/resources/animations/cycseq.html 

Sequence Bracelets

Make a bracelet of a DNA sequence. You can use the sequences suggested, or better yet search your BOLD project to find something barcoded at your school! You could even use the DNA sequence of your name (see Your Name in DNA above).

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