In commemoration of Alabama’s bicentennial year, HudsonAlpha is launching Bicentennial Barcoding, a citizen science project to genetically catalog Alabama’s native plant diversity.
For Bicentennial Barcoding, Alabama high school students will become plant detectives … hoping to discover the hidden treasures of Alabama’s rich plant biodiversity. Institute educators will provide training and classroom resources for high school students and teachers from across the state, in coordination with community partners. With guidance from local experts, students across Alabama will photograph native plants and record the plant’s GPS-based location data. A tiny sample – essentially a hole-punch from one leaf – will then be sent to HudsonAlpha for DNA extraction and preparation of samples for sequencing.
Using a freely available DNA analysis program, students will examine the resulting DNA sequences and look for a match to existing barcodes. Just like barcodes found in the grocery store identify specific consumer products, a “DNA barcode” is a short genetic sequence that uniquely identifies each species. If a sequence is not currently a part of the International Barcode of Life database – a reference library that is a foundation for a DNA-based identification system for all multi-cellular life – the students will have the opportunity to submit the sample for validation and register a new entry in the international database.
Thanks to our participating high schools and community partners!
|Community Partner||High School Partner||County|
|Donald E. Davis Arboretum||Auburn High School||Lee|
|The University of West Alabama Herbarium||Demopolis High School||Marengo|
|Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve||Fairhope High School (x2)||Baldwin|
|Camp McDowell||Meek High School||Winston|
|Graham Farm & Nature Center||Pisgah High School||Jackson|
|Alabama Nature Center||Stanhope Elmore High School||Elmore|
|Birmingham Botanical Gardens||Huffman High School||Jefferson|
|The Land Trust of North Alabama||Bob Jones High School||Madison|
|The University of Alabama Herbarium||Tuscaloosa County High School||Tuscaloosa|
|Cypress Nature Park||Park Crossing High School||Montgomery|
|Alabama Master Gardeners Association||Dale County High School||Dale|
|Alabama Cooperative Extension System||Central High School||Russell|
|The Poarch Band of Creek Indians||Flomaton High School||Escambia|
|Lake Guntersville State Park||Sardis High School||Etowah|
|The Land Trust of North Alabama||East Limestone High School||Limestone|
|The Nature Conservancy||Buckhorn High School||Madison|
|The Nature Conservancy||Ardmore High School||Limestone|
|Huntsville Botanical Gardens||New Century High School||Madison|
|Tuskegee University||Booker T Washington High School||Macon|
|Talladega Ranger Station||BB Comer High School||Talladega|
|The Nature Conservancy||Hoover High School||Jefferson|
|The Nature Conservancy||Fyffe High School||DeKalb|
|The Nature Conservancy||Leeds High School||Jefferson/St.Clair/Shelby|
|UMS Wright Preparatory School||Mobile|
|Alabama Cooperative Extension System – Lamar County||South Lamar High School||Lamar|
|Elkmont High School||Limestone|
|Paul W Bryant||Tuscaloosa|
Become a Community Partner
We are searching statewide for community partners who are experts in Alabama native plants to partner with their local schools and catalog the biodiversity in our state. Please email [email protected] to learn more about becoming a community partner.
Bicentennial Barcoding is a collaboration between HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the Alabama Bicentennial, which supports, creates and executes events that commemorate the state’s history. The project is made possible by The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the Lyndhurst Foundation, Vulcan Materials Company Foundation and other philanthropic donations. Additional support is provided by AMSTI.