Project uses locals to catalog Galapagos DNA

The Barcode Galapagos Project set out to make a genetic catalog of the islands’ biodiversity.
Credit: Pedro Szekely

When researchers wanted to sample the genetic diversity of the Galapagos, they turned to locals who knew the islands well. Ordinary people gathered, prepared and processed tiny DNA samples of plants and animals in an effort to sequence thousands of species and compare them with species elsewhere in the world. “We are making a genetic catalog of the biodiversity of the Galapagos,” Barcode Galapagos Project manager Diego Ortiz told the Associated Press. “We want to obtain the genetic signature of the species of the Galapagos and quantify the variation of each one due to the geographical isolation in which they are found.”

Read more from the Associated Press.