The Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding is based in a 20,000ft2  research facility, one of two buildings that comprise the University of Guelph’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics.


The work-space at the CCDB is divided into six isolated rooms: Sample preparation (tissue/specimen subsampling), DNA extraction, Reagent room, DNA amplification and sequencing, Electrophoresis, Positive hit picking. A unidirectional workflow is enforced to reduce the opportunity for contamination to occur. No materials, supplies, or equipment from the sample preparation room can be taken to the reagent preparation room. Colour-coding and labeling of equipment, reagents, and supplies is enforced to help maintain this unidirectional flow. Nothing from the amplification and product detection room can be taken into the sample preparation room or the reagent preparation room. To reduce the threat of sample contamination from sample processing activities, separate biological safety cabinets and/or PCR workstation hoods are dedicated for positive control and test sample processing.

Workflow and QA

Quality assurance is supported by employing a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) platform that was developed in-house and is customized for our particular workflow. The LIMS system guarantees a full audit trail for each sample processed within our facility, providing a continuous link between the original voucher specimen and its barcode data, including who performed which procedures on which equipment on what date and time.


The core laboratory facility at the CCDB is equipped with the latest in high throughput equipment and instrumentation. Virtually all aspects of barcode generation are automated, from DNA extraction to sequencing. To verify that equipment is functioning properly, the Laboratory follows a maintenance schedule as recommended by each instrument’s manufacturer (including pipette calibration, maintenance of PCR machines and centrifuges, etc). The CCDB’s laboratory infrastructure includes:

  • 3 ABI 3730XL DNA sequencers
  • 1 Ion Torrent PGM sequencer
  • 1 Ion S5 sequencer
  • 1 SEQUEL (PacBio) sequencer
  • 1 SEQUEL II (PacBio) sequencer
  • 5 Beckman-Coulter Biomek FX robots
  • 2 Beckman-Coulter Biomek NX robots
  • 30 Eppendorf 96-well thermocyclers
  • 14 Eppendorf 384-well thermocyclers
  • 20 Ultra-low temperature freezers