There is a large number of research projects that involve DNA barcoding in Norway. A list of projects can be found here: Barcode projects in Norway.

As national infrastructure on DNA barcoding (from 2014) NorBOL aims to build a national barcode library of 20 000 species and contribute to the International Barcode of Life project. We have so far focused our work on four areas (see below), but have now expanded our work to include more regions and taxonomic groups. As the work on the barcode library proceeds, coordination of the activity will be increasingly important to avoid work duplication and overlap. The responsibility for coordination of barcode activity in various taxonomic group has therefore been divided among the university museums:

  • NTNU University Museum: aquatic insects and mosses.
  • Natural History Museum, UiO: terrestrial insects, Basidiomycota, lichens, and smaller non-marine invertebrate groups.
  • University Museum of Bergen, UiB: marine invertebrates and associated taxa (e.g. Annelida and Mollusca).
  • Tromsø Museum, UiT: vascular plants and Ascomycota.

Please contact the barcode managers at each institution for an overview of analyzed taxa.


DNA barcoding of material from the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative

Most projects funded by the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative (NTI) involve DNA barcoding of the project material. NorBOL provides advise and technical assistance in sampling, photographing and uploading of data to BOLD. The activity is highest at the university museums where most of the material later is deposited as voucher specimens. These instituttions also have the longest experience with DNA barcoding, but other NorBOL institutions may be involved. Contact person is Torbjørn Ekrem.

DNA barcoding of marine invertebrates in Norway

The University Museum of Bergen has in recent years been actively involved in the collection of marine invertebrates that are well suited for DNA barcoding. The material is partly obtained through extensive inventories in the Skagerrak, the northwest coast, and the MAREANO-project in northern Norway. The collection, processing and identification of marine organisms often is very resource-demanding. Thus, DNA barcoding of material collected through inventories and other research projects is practical and economical and will increase its scientific value. Despite the importance of marine life in Norway, only around 1% of the known marine invertebrate fauna has so far been barcoded. NorBOL aims to increase this percentage considerably and contribute to iBOL reaching its ambitious goal of 100,000 species by 2015. Contact person is Endre Willassen.

DNA barcoding of terrestrial vascular plants and fungi

This work package focused on the DNA barcoding of 600 terrestrial vascular plants and 800 species of fungi from northern Norway stored at the Tromsø University Museum. NorBOL is a regional node in iBOL with a special responsibility for northern regions and this project is an important contribution to the iBOL working group on Polar Life (WG 1:10). Contact person is Inger Greve Alsos.

DNA barcoding of specimens from scientific collections

Material in scientific collections are valuable to DNA barcoding because it is quality assured with respect to dentification and meta-data. Moreover, DNA barcoding of pinned insects has proven to be very effective when generating barcodes of many species and specimens. This package focused specifically on the utilization of already collected and databased material and the work was largely performed by biology students at the University of Oslo. The Natural History Museum in Oslo was responsible for the work package, contact person is Arild Johnsen.