DNA Barcoding - the name is based on the product Barcoding, which is known for example from the supermarket. Instead of a barcode to identify animals, a particular gene (cytochrome oxidase CO1) is "scanned" here. For most species this results in a very specific species barcode, consisting of the read base pairs A, C, T, and G. The species of land plants are identified via two different gene regions of the chloroplast (matK and rbcL). Mushrooms are identified via the ITS region. With the help of these short DNA barcodes one can thus clearly identify a species, but also the determination of new species is possible!
Throughout the world, scientists are working to fill and complete the databases with DNA barcodes. These data is then made available in publicly available databases after an in-depth review.
Thus, unknown individuals as well as entire mixed samples can be analyzed and identified. In this case, similarities to existing codes are analyzed and evaluated in the gene analysis and the subsequent bioinformatics pipeline. Codes with 97-100% match to an already determined code can be uniquely assigned to one species. For lower matches, because these codes have not yet been assigned to any species, the genus can be determined for example.