Title of Presentation
The Global Genome Biodiversity Network: Standardizing Access to DNA and Tissue Samples on a Global Scale
Date and Place
Gabi Droege is leading the Technical Secretariat of GGBN and responsible for the virtual GGBN platform. Her background is ornithology and she has a long standing experience in biodiversity informatics, especially the development of data exchange standards and connecting different sources of biological and bibliographical collections. In the past she has organized several international workshops and trainings on how to make molecular collections available in a standardized way. Furthermore she is the curator of the DNA bank of the Botanic Garden Berlin and therefore knows the challenges, requirements and bottle necks in the daily work of DNA and tissue bank management. This mixture of experiences helps her to develop tools and workflows that are accepted and used by individual researchers and curators but also work on a global scale.
The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) was formed in 2011 with the principal aim of making high-quality well-documented and vouchered collections that store DNA or tissue samples of biodiversity, discoverable for research through a networked community of biodiversity repositories. This is achieved through the GGBN Data Portal (http://www.ggbn.org), which links globally distributed databases and bridges the gap between biodiversity repositories, sequence databases and research results. As underlying schema the GGBN Data Standard has been developed (http://terms.tdwg.org/wiki/GGBN_Data_Standard), complementing other community standards such as Darwin Core (DwC), Access to Biological Collection Data (ABCD), and minimum information about any (x) sequence (MIxS). Advances in DNA extraction techniques combined with next-generation sequencing technologies provide new tools for genome sequencing. Many ambitious genome sequencing projects with the potential to revolutionize biodiversity research consider access to adequate samples to be a major bottleneck in their workflow. This is linked not only to accelerating biodiversity loss and demands to improve conservation efforts but also to a lack of standardized methods for providing access to genomic samples. Biodiversity biobank-holding institutions urgently need to set a standard of collaboration towards excellence in collections stewardship, information access and sharing and responsible and ethical use of such collections. GGBN meets these needs by enabling and supporting accessibility and the efficient coordinated expansion of biodiversity biobanks worldwide.