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This article is part of the supplement: European Molecular Biology Network (EMBnet) Conference 2008: 20th Anniversary Celebration. Leading applications and technologies in bioinformatics

Open Access Proceedings

iBarcode.org: web-based molecular biodiversity analysis

Gregory AC Singer and Mehrdad Hajibabaei*

Author Affiliations

Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, N1G 2W1, Canada

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BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10(Suppl 6):S14  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S6-S14

Published: 16 June 2009

Abstract

Background

DNA sequences have become a primary source of information in biodiversity analysis. For example, short standardized species-specific genomic regions, DNA barcodes, are being used as a global standard for species identification and biodiversity studies. Most DNA barcodes are being generated by laboratories that have an expertise in DNA sequencing but not in bioinformatics data analysis. Therefore, we have developed a web-based suite of tools to help the DNA barcode researchers analyze their vast datasets.

Results

Our web-based tools, available at http://www.ibarcode.org webcite, allow the user to manage their barcode datasets, cull out non-unique sequences, identify haplotypes within a species, and examine the within- to between-species divergences. In addition, we provide a number of phylogenetics tools that will allow the user to manipulate phylogenetic trees generated by other popular programs.

Conclusion

The use of a web-based portal for barcode analysis is convenient, especially since the WWW is inherently platform-neutral. Indeed, we have even taken care to ensure that our website is usable from handheld devices such as PDAs and smartphones. Although the current set of tools available at iBarcode.org were developed to meet our own analytic needs, we hope that feedback from users will spark the development of future tools. We also welcome user-built modules that can be incorporated into the iBarcode framework.