Session Spotlight: Barcoding for Biosecurity

by
Kris Jett

Kris Jett

Only six days left before abstract submission close! Remember, submit by midnight Eastern US Time on 15 June.

Andrew Mitchell


Session Spotlight

Session: Barcoding for Biosecurity

Session Chair: Andrew Mitchell

• What does your proposed session cover? Why is it important to barcoding?

The challenges faced by biosecurity barcoding. ‘Biosecurity’ in its broadest terms covers everything from bioterrorism and quarantine measures to on-farm control on insect pests. The world’s agroecosystems are coming under increasing pressure as populations continue to rise and climates change. Controlling pests and diseases and preventing their expansion into new areas is now more important than ever before. Barcoding has an obvious role to play in enabling and standardizing identification of pests and pathogens and biosecurity applications often feature prominently in accounts of the potential uses for DNA barcoding.  Compiling a DNA barcode database of the world’s most important pests, parasites and pathogens should be one of our top priorities. This session aims to highlight the challenges currently impeding the implementation of barcoding for biosecurity applications (be they regulatory, political, social, technical or other reasons) and discuss possible solutions. Presentations on recent advances in this field and future prospects are encouraged.  We would also like to hear about emerging campaigns to barcode economically important taxa and regional initiatives to barcode pest species.

• What is your vision for the 4th Conference?

The biosecurity session should provide an update on the state of the art and provide a forum for exchange of ideas. What has the international barcoding community been doing right and what areas could we improve in?  A break-out session to discuss the way forward for barcoding pests and diseases of importance to all nations is possible if enough people express interest.

• What research do you do?

I am an insect systematist with expertise in cutworm moths (Noctuidae) and interests in applying molecular systematics techniques such as DNA barcoding to solving problems of an ecological nature, especially in applied areas such as biological control of invasive species.  I do both traditional morphology-based taxonomic research and usually use barcoding to speed progress. My definition of barcoding is broader than many – I consider it to be the use of DNA sequence data, including of course the standard barcode locus/loci for a particular taxon, from vouchered specimens with the primary aim of identifying biodiversity.

• If people are interested in this topic, what can they do to get involved in addition to submitting an abstract?

Please e-mail me with any questions (andrew.mitchell@austmus.gov.au) otherwise just submit an abstract with the keyword ‘biosecurity’!

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