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Blooming barcodes: a BOLD move in bar coding Welsh floral heritage

8 April 2011

Welsh scientists are embarking on a project whereby they aim to ‘barcode’ every one of the 1,143 native plants, helping scientists track the status of pollinating insects, such as bees.

The bank of information can also be compared to other stored information from similar undertakings around the world, held in the Barcode of Life Database, BOLD. The hope is that this will assist in identifying patterns in DNA, showing how species are related to each other, where they have come from and who they’re reproducing with.

Further, this information can be used for more commercial purposes such as authenticating Welsh products or assisting in criminal cases where plant fragments are found as part of forensic examinations.

The findings are due this summer and will be used as part of establishing a tailored conservation programme for Welsh plants. With the plan to extend the project to the rest of the UK, it won’t be long before all our native species are catalogued for posterity and modern day use.

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