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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(Database issue):D607-12. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt928. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Data Portal.

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Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 14195, Germany, National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013, USA, Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn 53113, Germany, Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa, Pretoria 0001, South Africa, National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, South Yarra, VIC 3141, Australia, Molecular Systematics Section, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3DS, UK, Systematic Botany, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen 35392, Germany, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Copenhagen Ø DK-2100, Denmark, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen K DK-1307, Denmark and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa Ancon, Unit 0948, Panama.


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 (, which links globally distributed databases and bridges the gap between biodiversity repositories, sequence databases and research results. 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.

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