Introduction workshop on DNA barcoding - successfully held online

The Introduction workshop on DNA barcoding of the BULCode project was successfully held on Friday, January 29, 2021. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the originally planned physical setting of the event at Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics could not be arranged. Hence, the Workshop was held completely via the ZOOM webinar system and was attended by 43 participants. The audience was diverse in aspect of institutional affiliation and research expertise of participants. There were participants from 4 institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences but also students from the Sofia State university with a research background in taxonomy, ecology and molecular biology.

The workshop was formally opened by Dr. Georgi Bonchev, project coordinator, who introduced the BULCode project, its goals and expected impacts and also the agenda of the Workshop. Keynote speakers Dr. Helena Wirta and Dr. Eero Vesterinen from the University of Helsinki introduced participants with the basics of DNA barcoding and metabarcoding - concept, methodological workflow but also provided examples from their own past and ongoing scientific investigations. In addition, hands-on-practicals of databasing were carried out allowing participants to practice tasks such as search of species and their DNA barcode records in databases (BOLD) and to taxonomically identify species based on provided DNA barcode sequence.

In conclusion, teachers from Finland did an excellent job on moderating the sessions and engaging people in the discussions. All presentations have been followed by vivid discussion and questions.

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