A reference library for Canadian invertebrates with 1.5 million barcodes, voucher specimens, and DNA samples

Jeremy R. deWaard, Sujeevan Ratnasingham, Evgeny V. Zakharov, Alex V. Borisenko, Dirk Steinke, Angela C. Telfer, Kate H. J. Perez, Jayme E. Sones, Monica R. Young, Valerie Levesque-Beaudin, Crystal N. Sobel, Arusyak Abrahamyan, Kyrylo Bessonov, Gergin Blagoev, Stephanie L. deWaard, Chris Ho, Natalia V. Ivanova, Kara K. S. Layton, Liuqiong Lu, Ramya ManjunathJaclyn T. A. McKeown, Megan A. Milton, Renee Miskie, Norm Monkhouse, Suresh Naik, Nadya Nikolova, Mikko Pentinsaari, Sean W. J. Prosser, Adriana E. Radulovici, Claudia Steinke, Connor P. Warne, Paul D. N. Hebert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


The reliable taxonomic identification of organisms through DNA sequence data requires a well parameterized library of curated reference sequences. However, it is estimated that just 15% of described animal species are represented in public sequence repositories. To begin to address this deficiency, we provide DNA barcodes for 1,500,003 animal specimens collected from 23 terrestrial and aquatic ecozones at sites across Canada, a nation that comprises 7% of the planet's land surface. In total, 14 phyla, 43 classes, 163 orders, 1123 families, 6186 genera, and 64,264 Barcode Index Numbers (BINs; a proxy for species) are represented. Species-level taxonomy was available for 38% of the specimens, but higher proportions were assigned to a genus (69.5%) and a family (99.9%). Voucher specimens and DNA extracts are archived at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics where they are available for further research. The corresponding sequence and taxonomic data can be accessed through the Barcode of Life Data System, GenBank, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Global Genome Biodiversity Network Data Portal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number308
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Data
Early online date6 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019


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