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The Multiplex Barcode Research And Visualization Environment (mBRAVE)

There is an immediate need for a stronger capacity to analyze DNA sequence data. The current mBRAVE platform begins to address this requirement especially for DNA barcode data and the research team is developing further new functionalities to support the growing range of applications enabled by modern DNA sequencing platforms.


Principal investigator: Paul Hebert
Other investigators: Sujeevan Ratnasingham

What challenge does "The Multiplex Barcode Research And Visualization Environment (mBRAVE)" address?

New DNA sequencing platforms produce very large volumes of data, presenting challenges for bioinformatics that are only intensifying as these instruments double their capacity to generate sequence data every nine months. Because the computational power required for analysis typically grows exponentially with data volume, there is a need for efficient approaches. In addition, many complications in data analysis arise from the relatively high error rates and biases in the sequence data produced by the new platforms.

How will this research address the challenge?

This research team has developed mBRAVE, a cloud-based platform for depositing, analyzing, visualizing, and publishing DNA barcode data gathered via High-Throughput Sequencing. As such, it addresses an important gap in the software support for new sequencing platforms in biodiversity research. mBRAVE shares certain attributes with its sister platform, BOLD (Barcode of Life Datasystems), such as the coupling of sequence storage with analytical capabilities, but it is specialized for new DNA sequencing technology.

What impact will the project have on agriculture?

mBRAVE’s advanced user interface (most platforms employ command lines), its superior visualization tools, and its cloud-based delivery (which accelerates performance) differentiate it from other such platforms. It also exploits the structural features of protein-coding genes to aid sequence alignment and species identification.

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