The Regional Training Event was held on 20-30 August 2018 under the auspices of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology, NAS of Belarus, and the Scientific and Practical Centre for Bioresources, NAS of Belarus, as part of two projects submitted to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and successful in the competition for financing through the International Initiatives as follows:
BioBridge Initiative, BBI, donor – the Government of the Republic of Korea.
Project “Transfer of DNA-Barcoding Technology for the Inventory and Monitoring of Rare and Endangered Species in Belarus and other Central and Eastern European Countries”.
Project applicant: the Institute of Genetics and Cytology, NAS of Belarus.
Project Manager: E.N. Makeyeva, Associate Professor, PhD
Global Taxonomy Initiative, GTI, donor – Japan Biodiversity Fund.
Project “Building National and Regional Networks for the Study of Alien Species Using DNA Technologies as a Great Tool Helping with the Taxonomic Impediment”
Project applicant: the Scientific and Practical Centre for Bioresources, NAS of Belarus.
Project Manager: T.P. Lipinskaya, PhD
The training event was held in the form of a joint endeavour since the projects’ objectives and targets were mutually reinforcing.
Training participants: 24 specialists representing 7 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine).
With a view of providing insight into the conceptual framework of the DNA-barcoding technique developed by Professor Paul Hebert at the University of Guelph, Canada, and used for molecular identification by short genetic markers in DNA to determine whether a particular organism belongs to a specific taxon and with a view of familiarizing the participants with the BOLD system for recording and storing the results obtained using the technique, the top scientists of this University, Alexey Borisenko and Mariya Kuzmina, were invited under the Global Taxonomy Initiative.
The practical part of the project, which included training of participants to work with the samples under study ‒ DNA isolation, analysis of the desired regions of a genome using the Applied BioSytems DNA analyzer, processing the results obtained using appropriate software ‒ was carried out at the Republican DNA Bank of a human, animals, plants and microorganisms (objects of plant origin) and at the Shareable Core Facilities “GENOME” (objects of plant and animal origin) of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology, NAS of Belarus, and at the Laboratory for Molecular Zoology of the Scientific and Practical Centre for Bioresources (objects of animal origin). The issues related to the DNA-barcoding technique use in studying rare and endangered plant species, as well as invasive and alien species of animals were comprehensively covered.
All training participants were awarded with a Certificate of completion.
As a result of the training event, a Resolution was signed on the establishment of a Regional Network of DNA-barcoding Specialists to exchange information and share experience in using the technique and design regional projects to enhance the inventory excellence of countries’ genetic resources, to monitor biological diversity and assess the risks of invasive species. In addition, a decision was made to establish a Regional Reference DNA Plant Barcodes Library (the Republican DNA Bank of a human, animals, plants and microorganisms, the Institute of Genetics and Cytology, NAS of Belarus) and the Regional Reference DNA Animal Barcodes Library (Laboratory of Hydrobiology, the Scientific and Practical Centre for Bioresources).