Integrated systematics: barcoding, biosurveillance and biosystematics

Molecular sequence data is increasingly easy to generate, but is most powerful when integrated with a strong taxonomic platform and the biological data necessary to interpret and leverage the knowledge.

The Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit (WRBU) promotes integrated approaches to accurately identify biomedically important arthropods (mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, black flies, sand flies, mites) and assess their role in the transmission of disease. Leaning heavily on the taxonomic expertise within the Unit, and our unbridled access to the U.S. National Collection, WRBU heads the global Mosquito Barcoding Initiative, which links the methods and knowledge of traditional taxonomists with modern molecular genetic approaches. The Mosquito Barcoding Initiative (MBI) dataset, available through the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD;, comprises unique species-diagnostic mtDNA COI sequence data (“DNA barcodes”) from over 70,000 individuals representing 1,400 species.

Read more about molecular sequence data