spring 2021
BIO-3025 Molecular identification for species diagnostics: from DNA Barcoding to Metabarcoding - 5 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

Concerns only admission to singular courses: Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

Theoretical and practical

The course is limited to 15 students.

Admission requirements

Local admission, application code 9371 - Master's level singular course.

Admission requires a Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, with a major in biology of minimum 80 ECTS.

Course content

Biodiversity loss, often referred to as biodiversity crisis, is a global environmental problem causing international concern and demanding urgent counteracting measures. Biodiversity is commonly defined in terms of a number of species present in a particular environment, or in total in the world. This makes species not only one of the fundamental biological concepts but also a focus of global conservation efforts. Currently morphology based species delimitation provides the baseline for conservation of most plant and animal groups. Development of molecular systematics and computational algorithms has been gradually bringing more and more genetic based approaches to characterizing species as evolutionary units, as compared to morphology based taxonomical units. The course focuses on high-throughput screening approaches of DNA sequence variation (i.e., DNA barcoding and Metabarcoding) for species identification and discovery that provide rapid assessments of biodiversity, animal diet assessment, reconstruction of paleo communities, among others. The course will consist of a series of lectures and bioinformatics practicals introducing different aspects of DNA metabarcoding. Bioinformatics practicals will introduce data analysis from raw sequences to taxonomic group assignment to enable basic ecological conclusion.

This course is organized with financial support from ForBio. Please see additional information available at: ForBio

Objectives of the course

After the course the students should have  Knowledge:

  • You learn about DNA based molecular identification for species diagnostics: DNA Barcoding and Metabarcoding.


  • You acquire skills for analyses of raw sequence data: taxonomic assignment and phylogeny reconstruction for species identification and discovery.

General competence:

  • You improve your analytical skills to use molecular tools for biodiversity assessment, animal diet assessment and reconstruction of paleo communities.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Intensive course (1 week) which will include lectures and data analyses practicals.


Oral presentation and written report containing results from a case study (100 % of mark). A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail.

Re-sit exam:

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: BIO-3025