In 2010, the Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) initiated a project to assess the marine living resources in Mauritius waters. For the project, identification of organisms is carried out by combining both traditional taxonomic tools and DNA-based techniques namely DNA barcoding, which employs patterns of sequence variation from the mitochondrial 5' region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene.
The morphometric and genetic data generated are stored on this custom-designed online searchable database, the Marine Diversity and Genetic Data Bank (MDGDB), which is continuously updated with new data as they become available. Here users are presented with both a DNA-based search approach and a query-based function. For the DNA-based technique, users can search the DNA data bank through the BLAST algorithm. In the query-based function, search can be performed using either the nomenclature or the common name (Local, English and French) of the organisms.