DNA based species identification

Workshop; course code 750653S

Time: December 16-20, 2019
Place: University of Oulu, Finland
Extent: 3 ECTS

Picture: Vlad Dinca

Identification of biological specimens by DNA barcodes is becoming a new standard. One of the greatest benefits of DNA barcoding is that it works regardless of the individual’s condition or life history stage and the taxonomic group. Rapid growth of comprehensive DNA barcode reference libraries in many nations coupled with unprecedented progress in DNA sequencing technologies is making accurate identification of specimens by their DNA barcodes both cost-efficient and fast. DNA barcoding can be used to identify not only individual specimens, but also bulk samples containing even millions of specimens and environmental DNA.

Goals of the workshop
The workshop lectures will cover an introduction to the concept and idea of DNA barcoding, BOLD and mBRAVE barcode repositories and analyzing tools, international DNA barcoding activities (iBOL), metabarcoding methods and high-throughput sequencing platforms, analyses of ancient DNA, analyses of microbial communities, bioinformatic pipelines of genomic-scale data and use of some ecological analyses using R statistical platform. The practicals will include lab exercises on both standard DNA barcoding and metabarcoding (for Ion Torrent), exercises on using bioinformatics tools and R statistical platform and exercises on using BOLD and mBRAVE.

Target group
A maximum of 20 students will be chosen based on the relevance of the topic for the applicants’ studies (based on the motivation letter). Priority is given to the PhD students, but also post-doctoral researchers and MSc students can be considered. In a part of the practicals lab working experience is appreciated though not obligatory. The participants are expected to give a lightning talk of 5-10 minutes about their ongoing or planned research.

Both lectures and practicals will be given in English language.


  • Seppo Rytkönen (University of Oulu)
  • Marko Mutanen (University of Oulu)
  • Vlad Dinca (University of Oulu)
  • Vladislav Ivanov (University of Oulu)
  • Matti Heino (University of Oulu)
  • Justus Reunanen (University of Oulu)
  • Seppo Vainio (University of Oulu)
  • Coen Westerduin (University of Oulu)
  • Eero Vesterinen (University of Turku)

There will be no fee for attending the workshop. The applicants will pay the travels, accommodation and meals themselves. The total costs depend on the flights and type of accommodation. On Thursday evening, there will be an evening party at the Botanical Gardens (indoors) with food and drinks served for free.

Applications and Registration
The deadline for the applications is October 31, 2019 at midnight. Application/registration in webOodi or by email to seppo.rytkonen at oulu.fi. The applicants must provide a short letter of motivation (maximum 1 page) explaining their interest in DNA barcoding/metabarcoding, a short description of their studies and their expectations of the workshop. The selected applicants will receive confirmation of acceptance by November 1, 2019.

More information about the course:

  • Marko Mutanen (marko.mutanen at oulu.fi)
  • Seppo Rytkönen (seppo.rytkonen at oulu.fi)


Last updated: 3.10.2019