DNA Banks and Genetic Resources Repositories in the United States

The following facilities in the United States maintain collections of nucleic acid extracts (DNA or RNA) or preserved tissues suitable for genetic and genomic studies of biodiversity.

These resources (listed alphabetically by institution) represent collections compiled by iDigBio in 2014 and updated in April and May, 2020. Each entry includes the name of the institution, a brief description, and institutional link. The list has expanded from 54 initial collections to 78 currently. Our immediate motivation for updating this list was to facilitate access to specimens and samples of possible hosts of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. These samples may also contain viral DNA. Digital access to natural history collections can play an important role in discovering samples and specimens for further study, including genetic analysis. Access to these samples may facilitate determining the origin of this virus and its transmission to humans. But this directory is just a first step. Ultimately, a searchable, global platform that links each specimen to all information known about it (locality of collection, species interactions, literature, etc.) or derived from it (genetic sequences) will be needed to make full use of the information in this directory and in aggregators of natural history specimens. iDigBio has joined an international task force of natural history organizations to enable research on predicting and mitigating future pandemics, and recommendations from this task force will have impact far beyond pandemics to facilitate all research on biodiversity.

To report the availability of genetic resources at your institution, or to revise or update an existing entry, please contact Pam Soltis. To find a genetic sample of a given species, search the databases at each collection, or visit the Global Genome Biodiversity Network, a networked community of biodiversity repositories, some of which are listed here.

iDigBio thanks the participants of the DNA Banking Workshop organized by Wendy Applequist and hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden (January 2013) and Breda Zimkus (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University), in particular, for assistance in compiling the original list of resources. Thanks also to Jon Dunnum (Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico) and the Systematics Collection Committee of the American Society of Mammalogists for information on mammal genetic resources. iDigBio RAs Grant T. Godden and Maria Beatriz de Souza Cortez compiled the original and current versions, respectively.

If you would like to download this information, click here to export the table below as an Excel file. Technical note: Due to the nature of an HTML table being exported as the older-but-more-compatible XLS format, Excel will present a warning message when you initially attempt to open the downloaded file.

Resource Description
Abilene Christian University, Natural History Collection Abilene Christian University Natural History Collection (ACUNHC) houses over 2,200 mammal specimens. Nearly all of the vouchered specimens are associated with a tissue collection. The geographic strength of the collection is centered in the Southwestern US, Michigan, and Ecuador. The mammal collection at ACUNHC started in 1994 with Dr. Thomas E. Lee, Jr. It is home to a bat collection representing about 50 genera.
American Museum of Natural History, The Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection

The Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection (AMCC) supports a broad range of comparative genetic and genomic research initiatives focusing on earth’s biodiversity, including animal, fungal, plant, and microbial diversity. Please visit the AMCC website for information about donating specimens to the AMCC, requesting tissue loans, searching the online AMCC specimen catalog, and contact information.

Angelo State Natural History Collections The Angelo State Natural History Collections houses nearly 100,000 specimens within five divisions: an Herbarium (60,000) and Collections of Amphibians and Reptiles (15,500), Birds (2,700), Mammals (20,000), and Genomic Resources (26,000+ samples from more than 15,000 individuals beginning in the late 1980's). Strengths of the tissue collection include Texas and the Southwest, but holdings include other parts of the United States as well as records from Mexico, Guyana, the Galapagos Islands, and mainland Ecuador. Tissues are predominantly stored at -80°C though we also possess a small lysis- and ethanol-preserved collection. Tissues taken have historically been heart, kidney, liver, and muscle. In 2017, tissue harvest expanded to include spleen and lung. Most tissues are of mammals, though some bird, amphibian, and reptile samples have also been archived. Our collections are currently undergoing migration into new database platforms (Arctos for the vertebrate collections, Symbiota for the Herbarium).
Botanical Research Institute of Texas BRIT joined GGBN in March 2019 as a Core Institution. Tissues and DNA extractions are stored in two -80°C freezers, connected to a backup generator, that can store up to 80,000 tissues and/or 100,000 DNA extractions each. At the moment our biorepository contains 2,517 tissue samples representing land plants (mostly vascular plants). Our biorepository focuses on the flora of Texas and is especially strong in collections from North-Central Texas. We are also the host institution for two large collection programs that we predict will contribute approximately 2,000 additional samples per year (2020-2023) from the southern Philippines and from living collections at botanic gardens around the world through the Global Genome Initiative for Gardens program. Our collections data will be visible to the public through the GGBN web portal.
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Pacific Center for Molecular Biodiversity The Pacific Center for Molecular Biodiversity (PCMB) is expanding the knowledge and understanding of the natural and cultural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific region through molecular research. The laboratory is an integral component of the Bishop Museum Natural Sciences biological collections and houses DNA and RNA genomic samples and tissue resources. More than 40,000 specimens represent taxa collected in the Hawaiian Islands and throughout the Pacific. The cryo-repositories at PCMB allow for long-term preservation through low and ultra-low temperatures. Moreover, the collection has the capacity to increase its holdings to 160,000 specimens.
Brigham Young University, Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum The Monte L. Bean Museum (MLBM) houses a collection of over 45,000 specimens (most are associated with voucher specimens) of tissue or DNA preserved from vascular and non-vascular plants, arthropods (crustaceans, insects), fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
California Academy of Sciences, Center for Comparative Genomics CryoCollection The Center for Comparative Genomics' CryoCollection comprises extracted DNA samples, genomic libraries, and DNA primers from specimens housed at the California Academy of Sciences. The purpose of the CCG CryoCollection is to organize, centralize, and preserve the Academy's collection of frozen DNA, and to make it available to the scientific community.
California Department of Food and Agriculture, California State Collection of Arthropods Frozen Tissue Collection The California State Collection of Arthropods (CSCA) Frozen Tissue Collection (FTC) has the capacity to store over 40,000 samples in ultra-cold conditions. Currently preserved in the collection are over 10,000 DNA samples from over 5,000 associated voucher specimens and an additional 15,000+ specimens preserved for future molecular study.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History The Carnegie Museum of Natural History Section of Mammals houses an ancillary collection of frozen tissues for biochemical study from over 14,000 specimens of insectivores, bats, rodents, carnivores, and primates from North America, Africa, and Asia.
Chicago Botanic Garden The Chicago Botanic Garden contains nearly 40,000 holdings, among which 21,443 are herbarium specimens stored at the Nancy Poole Rich Herbarium, 10,331 are seeds kept at Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank, and 7,583 are DNA samples located at the DNA Repository. Catalogues from all three collections are available online. The institution also holds a living plant collection.
Cincinnati Museum Center, Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology The zoology collection of the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History houses nearly 3,500 frozen tissue specimens primarily from vertebrate groups. This collection includes avian tissues (ca. 1,800 specimens, including considerable material from the Philippines and Eastern North America), mammal tissues (ca. 1,000 specimens), and a rapidly growing tissue collection for reptiles and amphibians (ca. 700 specimens) and fishes (ca. 100 specimens).
Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates The Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to the study of vertebrates. The collections contain over 1.5 million specimens from all over the world, and the museum serves as the primary repository for vouchers and tissues collected by past, and present Cornellians. There over 6000 fish tissues, 5000 bird tissues, and 1000 amphibian tissues. The mammal tissue collection has just recently initiated. Typically, tissue samples are associated with voucher specimens and stored in freezers (either -20°C or -80°C) to guarantee tissue longevity.
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Plasmid Informative Database

The Plasmid Information Database (PlasmID) was established in 2004 to curate, maintain, and distribute cDNA and ORF constructs for use in basic molecular biological research. The materials deposited at our facility constitute more than 350,000 records and represent the culmination of several international collaborative efforts from 2004 to present.

Note: According to the website, they are suspending plasmid distribution from the collection as of 15-Aug-2019. However, you may contact plasmidhelp@hms.harvard.edu if you would like to request BioPlex ORF clones (Harper lab). Or if you identify other clones in our collection for which you cannot find an alternative.

Denver Botanic Gardens The Denver Botanic Gardens is composed of three distinct collections: the Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium of Vascular Plants (with over 70,000 specimens), the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi (with over 20,000 specimens), and the DBG Collection of Arthropods (with nearly 1,000 specimens). The collections are geographically focused on taxa occurring at the Rocky Mountain Region. The vascular plant herbarium data are searchable through SEINet, the fungal collection can be accessed online through MyCoPortal, and the arthropod collection is available online through SCAN.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Zoology Collections The Zoology Department at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science houses over 1.27M specimens or specimen lots in five major collections: Arachnology; Conchology; Entomology; Mammalogy; and Ornithology. Collections of bird, herp, and mammal tissues (~20,000 individuals), vertebrate parasites (~7,500 lots), and a small herpetology collection (~600) are also maintained by the museum. All collections are searchable through Arctos and multiple data portals.
Drexel University, Academy of Natural Sciences, The Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Ecology The Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Ecology (LMSE) serves as the Academy's tissue repository that can be useful to future molecular researchers. At present, only Ornithology tissue are accessioned and available for loan, but additional taxa are in the process of being curated and will soon be added as loanable material.
Duke Lemur Center The Duke Lemur Center maintains a wide variety of biological samples available for purchase by qualified individuals or institutions. Samples such as blood, serum, and urine are banked opportunistically from our living colony during routine physical exams or other veterinary procedures. Tissues are collected from animals that have died of natural causes, and they are preserved in a variety of ways suitable for RNA, DNA, and histopathological analyses. Cadavers are kept frozen and are also available for research.
Earlham College, Joseph Moore Museum The Joseph Moore Museum comprises a diversified vertebrate collection geographically focused on the state of Indiana. There are 4,000 mammal specimens, 1,290 herpetological specimens, and more than 6,500 bird specimens. Even though most of the collection originates from the state of Indiana and surrounding regions, there are specimens from around the world. The mammal collection also houses frozen tissue and an incredible worldwide array of bat species.
Eastern New Mexico University, Natural History Museum The Eastern New Mexico University Natural History Museum was renamed in 2016 to honor Dr. Antonio Gennaro, the founder of the vertebrate collection. The Dr. Antonio "Tony" Gennaro Natural History Museum mammal collection is geographically focused on eastern New Mexico and taxonomically on Rodentia taxa. The collection contains approximately 1,300 mammal tissue samples, 95% of which are frozen.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Ichthyology Collection The Ichthyology Collection at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) is home to over 4,000 tissue samples, one of the largest in the world for marine fishes occurring in the southeastern United States. The collection specializes in taxa from habitats around Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Northern Atlantic and spans a time period from 1955 to the present. Nearly 500 fish species are represented in the collection, comprising all life stages, from larval to adult.
Fort Hays State University, Sternberg Museum of Natural History The Sternberg Museum of Natural History houses mammalian and herpetological tissues in its collection. Most tissues originate from the Great Plains, mainly the state of Kansas, even though nearly all herpetological taxa in the United States are represented in the collection. An Excel file containing the 3,000 mammal tissues found at FHSM (http://sternberg.fhsu.edu/research-collections/collections/mammalogy/) is continuously updated. The mammal tissue samples are relatively new and stored in 95% EtOH at -30°F. The Herpetology collection (http://sternberg.fhsu.edu/research-collections/herpetology/) is larger than the mammal collection, containing approximately 10,000 tissues stored at room temperature in 95% EtOH.
Frostburg State University, Mammal Collection The Mammal Collection at Frostburg State University is primarily focused on taxa occurring in Maryland and West Virginia. There are about 200 frozen specimens (including some bird samples). Even though access to the catalogue is not electronically available, changes are being made to facilitate public access to the collection.
Fungal Genetics Stock Center The Fungal Genetics Stock Center has preserved and distributed strains of genetically characterized fungi since 1960. The collection includes over 25,000 accessioned strains of classical and genetically engineered mutants of key model, human, and plant pathogenic fungi. Most strains are identified as Neurospora and Aspergillus. These materials are distributed as living stocks to researchers around the world. The FGSC was supported by the US National Science Foundation from its inception, in 1960, to 2014, when support transferred to Kansas State University Research and Extension (KSRE).
Georgia Museum of Natural History The Georgia Museum of Natural History is home to many different collections, ranging from Anthropology to Zooarcheology. The Collection of Arthropods houses more than a million records, including pinned, alcohol-preserved, and slide-mounted specimens. Reptiles and amphibians constitute approximately 50,000 specimens in the Herpetology Collection. The Ichthyology Collection represents nearly 900 species and over 300,000 specimens preserved in alcohol. The Invertebrate Collection totals over 33,000 specimens organized in three subcollections: the Gray's Reef Invertebrate Collection, the General Invertebrate Collection, and the Thomas Mollusc Collection. Mammal specimens and tissues, such as skins and alcohol-preserved materials, are stored at the Joshua Laerm Mammalogy Collection and add up to 25,000 records. With over 6,000 records, the Ornithology Collection houses bird specimens and bird egg clutches. The University of Georgia Herbarium houses over 200,000 plant samples, and the Julian H. Miller Mycological Herbarium contains more than 30,000 fungi specimens. In general, the collections are geographically focused on the southeastern United States, but there are specimens stored at the Georgia Museum of Natural History from around the world.
Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cryogenic Collection The Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) contains over 21 million specimens in ten research collections which comprise one of the world's richest and most varied resources for studying the diversity of life. Tissue samples and other genetic resources associated with MCZ's collections are searchable via the MCZ online database (https://mczbase.mcz.harvard.edu/) and are maintained as part of the Cryogenic Collection.
Humboldt State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Vertebrate Museum In the fall of 2001, the Humboldt State University Vertebrate Museum began a frozen tissue collection for mammals. All new mammals accessioned into the museum are being accompanied by tissue samples (i.e., heart, liver, or kidney). Each tissue specimen is linked via a computer database to the actual museum specimen from which it was taken. The 1,200-specimen frozen tissue collection is geographically concentrated on species occurring in California, especially the Great Basin and northern part of the state, as well as marine mammals encountered in the Pacific Ocean.
Indiana State University Vertebrate Collection The Indiana State University Vertebrate Collection houses over 13,000 specimens of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Indiana State University also has an Ichthyology Collection, with 3,000 specimens, an Entomology Collection with 17,000 specimens, an Ectoparasite Depository with 45,000 specimens, and an Herbarium with 5,000 specimens. The mammal collection houses tissue of several specimens preserved in ethanol.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (LACM) The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (LACM) maintains frozen tissue collections as well as tissue samples stored in 95% ethanol at room temperature. All vertebrate tissue collections are maintained in freezers and include tissues of 6,000 reptiles and amphibians, 5,000 birds, 3,800 mammals, and 1,300 fishes, most of which are associated with preserved specimens. Malacology maintains approximately 3,500 lots of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine mollusks, and Echinoderms has approximately 3,000 specimens that are all stored in 95% ethanol at room temperature and available for molecular analyses. The Marine Biodiversity Center has over 3,000 tissue and/or DNA extract samples, mostly marine invertebrates, in storage at the Smithsonian Institution's Biorepository (alcohol-preserved vouchers, where present, are stored at LACM). The Museum's BioSCAN (Biodiversity Science: City and Nature) Project conducts Malaise trapping for insects across Southern California; thousands of collected insects are stored in 95% ethanol at room temperature, with some vouchers in freezers. Loan inquiries should be directed to curatorial staff of the relevant department.
Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Museum of Life Sciences The Museum of Life Sciences of LSU Shreveport houses important plant and animal (vertebrates, invertebrates, fish) collections. There are more than 10,000 plant specimens at the institution and over 55,000 animal specimens, with the best represented collection being of mollusks (35,700) and herps (9,148). The mammal collection constitutes approximately 2,000 specimens, with 500 alcohol-preserved tissues.
Louisiana State University, Museum of Natural Science (Louisiana Museum of Natural History) Louisiana State University is a leader in vertebrate tissue preservation, containing a large collection of frozen tissues. These tissues are used for a wide variety of studies in forensics, epidemiology, conservation, wildlife management, comparative molecular genetics, and phylogenetics. Many tissue samples in the collection are from Neotropical species whose habitats have been disturbed or destroyed. Overall, the collection includes tissues from 8,000 different species, totaling 140,000 individuals deposited since 1979 (date of its foundation).
Michigan State University Museum, Mammal Collection The Mammal Collection at the Michigan State University Museum houses over 40,000 specimens, including approximately 1,000 frozen tissue samples. Michigan State University Museum also has an Ornithology Collection with more than 14,000 specimens, a Herpetology Collection with over 18,000 specimens, and an Ichthyology Collection including more than 36,000 marine and freshwater specimens. All of these collections present tissue samples preserved in fluids. Additionally, the Museum holds a Vertebrate Paleontology Collection with over 4,200 specimens.
Missouri Botanical Garden The Missouri Botanical Garden DNA Bank houses >25,000 leaf tissue samples, comprising ca. 400 plant families, more than 3,000 genera, and almost 11,000 different species, collected in ca. 65 countries, with an emphasis on locally rare and endemic species from Madagascar, New Caledonia, Gabon, Cameroon, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Material archived in the DNA Bank supports studies of plant relationships. Samples from vouchered specimens are preserved in silica gel packets and stored in drawers in a walk-in freezer maintained at -20°C. You may search Tropicos (https://www.tropicos.org) for available taxa in the DNA Bank.
Museum of Texas Tech University, Natural Science Research Laboratory, Robert J. Baker Genetic Resources Collection The Museum of Texas Tech University's Robert J. Baker Genetic Resources Collection is a biological archive of more than 411,000 samples taken from more than 100,000 individuals of predominantly mammals, but also some birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. The collection is world-wide in scope with especially strong mammalian holdings from the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, the Ukraine, and Malaysia. The majority of the collection is comprised of frozen samples archived in vapor-phase liquid nitrogen freezers. The collection also contains non-frozen samples in ethanol, lysis buffer, and DNA stored at -20°C.
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Marine Environmental Specimen Bank, Hollings Marine Laboratory NIST has been involved in archiving biological and environmental specimens for 40 years through multiple projects of the former National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NBSB), established in 1979 (e.g., human livers, marine sediments, fish tissues, mussels, oysters, human diet samples) and the Marine Environmental Specimen Bank, established in 2002 (e.g., fish tissues, mussels, oysters, marine mammal tissues, bird eggs and feathers, and sea turtle tissues and eggs). Today, these biospecimens are archived as a part of the NIST Biorepository located at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC. This national biorepository is a unique resource that processes and preserves biospecimens at cryogenic temperatures (-150°C), as well as the associated data, that are maintained through multiple partner projects. Biospecimens are available to NIST scientists, as well as stakeholders, collaborators, and external researchers through formalized tissue access policies. The NIST Biorepository is managed and maintained by the Chemical Science Division's Biospecimen Science Group. The NIST Biorepository is specifically designed to cryogenically store biospecimens over long periods of time (50-100 years). A systematic well-designed biorepository is not only a valuable component of real time monitoring and basic research, but it also enables future investigators to extend their research into the past (hind casting) and provides for future verification of analytical results (quality assurance). The NIST Biorepository is an important resource of research materials that are used to document geographic and temporal trends in "new" pollutants, changes in transport and accumulation of "old" pollutants in the environment, and to study temporal changes in marine animal health through application of future new analytical and biochemical techniques. Additionally, samples are not limited to just pollution research but have also been used to determine cellular and biomolecular measurements, RNA analysis forgenetics and evolutionary studies, as well as food web studies through stable isotope and fatty acid analysis. Standardized protocols are developed by NIST for collecting, processing, and archiving tissues and fluids with integrity and quality control to ensure sample stability and reproducibility that supports critical measurements. The biospecimen and its associated data are maintained in order to: (1) provide sufficient material for multiple analyses, (2) minimize the possibility of sample change and/or loss during storage, (3) minimize inadvertent contamination during sample handling and ensure sample integrity, (4) provide for long-term sample stability through cryogenic techniques, and (5) track sample history, from time of collection through downstream analysis.
National Museum of Natural History Biorepository The National Museum of Natural History Biorepository began operations in 2011 and is believed to be the largest museum-based natural history biorepository in existence. Its current capacity exceeds 4.2 million standard 2 ml cryovials stored in both liquid nitrogen and mechanical freezers at a variety of temperature conditions. The Biorepository primarily holds NMNH non-human animal, bacterial and plant genetic resources (DNAs, tissues and phenotype vouchers of genomic research and collections); in the future, environmental samples are expected.
National Tropical Botanical Garden The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTGB) has five different collections focused on the flora of Hawaii and the Pacific: the Herbarium, with nearly 90,000 specimens, a DNA Library with over 4,600 specimens, a Seed Bank with over 16 million seeds, the Library with over 20,000 books and 25,000 images, and a Living Collection of over 117,000 accessions in Hawaii and Florida. You may visit https://ntbg.org/database/herbarium to search the Herbarium database and DNA tissue collection.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bioscience Collection The Bioscience Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNH) maintains a collection of frozen tissues from mammals, birds and mollusks for genetic study.
New Mexico State University, Vertebrate Wildlife Museum (aka "NMSU Wildlife Museum") The New Mexico State University Wildlife Museum (NMSU Wildlife Museum) houses more than 6,000 specimens of mammals (3,000 specimens), birds (1,900 specimens), fishes (800 lots), and herp (200 specimens). Specimens are mostly representative of the American Southwest. There are more than 1,500 frozen mammal tissue samples stored at NMSU Wildlife Museum.
New York State Museum The New York State Museum houses several biological collections. The Lichen Herbarium contains over 12,000 specimens, and the Fungus Collection houses over 90,000 specimens, with more than 2,000 being type specimens. The Vascular Plant Herbarium has over 210,000 accessioned specimens and the Bryophyte Herbarium has more than 50,000. The animal collections consist of the Decapod Collection, with approximately 3,500 lots, the Fish Collection and Insect Collection, both with over one million specimens each, the Herpetology Collection with about 6,500 specimens, the Malacological Collection with more than 19,000 specimens, the Mammal Collection with over 15,000 specimens, and the Ornithology Collection, with over 23,000 holdings. Most collections focus on specimens collected in the state of New York, and some collections, primarily the bird, fish, and mammal collections, have tissue preserved in fluids and/or freezers.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCSM) maintains tissue collections (in ethanol, at -80°C) suitable for molecular analyses. The NCSM frozen tissue collection includes specimens representing several vertebrate (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes) and invertebrate (bivalves, gastropods) lineages, representing regional and (in some lineages) broader species distribution.
North Carolina State Museum, Insect Museum The North Carolina State University Insect Museum is an internationally recognized resource for the study of insects and mites from North Carolina, the Southeastern United States, and, in several insect groups, the world. The museum maintains a Genome Bank, a cold storage collection used in molecular analyses.
North Carolina State University, Vascular Plant Herbarium To increase the utility of its collections and to protect historical specimens from destructive sampling, NCSC is making freely available samples of recent and silica gel desiccated vascular plant material for taxonomic research. A unique attribute of this initiative in North Carolina is its focus on the scale of florulas, rather than select taxa. Making this material available for molecular studies that elucidate plant evolutionary relationships is consistent with the primary mission of NCSC to document and understand plant diversity. Only non-commercial research initiatives can request the samples from NCSC, which are kept in -20°C freezers.
Ocean Genome Legacy at Northeastern University The Ocean Genome Legacy Center (OGL) at Northeastern University is a non-profit marine research facility and genome bank dedicated to both exploring and preserving the threatened biological diversity of the sea and making these materials widely available for scientific research. The OGL collection contains 43,000+ DNA and tissue samples representing 5,000+ marine taxa, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and algae. Our collection is searchable on our website as well as GBIF, OBIS, and GGBN.
Oklahoma State University, Collection of Vertebrates The Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates (OSU COV) houses frozen tissues (in ultracold freezers) from approximately 9,000 individuals. Samples typically include heart, kidney, liver, spleen, and skeletal muscle. Most samples are mammalian (5,000) and are associated with vouchered specimens in OSU COV Collection of Mammals. Most of the records belong to mammals collected in the state of Oklahoma.
Oregon State University, Herpetological Collection The research collection consists of more than 55,000 ethanol-preserved amphibians and reptiles, and approximately 24,000 frozen tissue samples. The taxa most represented in Oregon State University Herpetological Collection are snakes, mainly those in the genus Thamnophis, which represent approximately 50% of the collection (~26,000 samples). Researchers interested in the collection's catalogue should access the database Vertnet.
Portland State University, Department of Biology, Museum of Vertebrate Biology The Museum of Vertebrate Biology has more than 12,000 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. The Museum contains different types of materials, such as bones, skins, and fluid-preserved samples.
San Diego State University Museum of Biodiversity The San Diego State University (SDSU) Museum of Biodiversity contains various animal and plant collections. Most of the specimens originate from California, but there are records from around the world as well. The Mammalogy Collection houses more than 3,000 specimens, the Ornithology Collection houses more than 2,700 specimens, the Ichthyology Collection houses thousands of specimens, the Arthropods Collection contains about 50,000 specimens, and the Herbarium (SDSU) displays over 20,000 plant specimens. Some collections maintain frozen tissues, such as the Mammal and Ornithology collections. In fact, the Ornithology Collection combined with the San Diego Natural History Museum amass to approximately 2,000 frozen tissues. Tissues from both of these collections are stored at SDSU.
San Diego Zoo, Frozen Zoo The Frozen Zoo® is the largest and most diverse collection of its kind in the world. It currently contains over 10,000 living fibroblast cell lines, sperm, ova, embryos, and reproductive tissues representing nearly 1,200 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The 45-year-old collection also includes two extinct species, the po'ouli and Rabb's tree frog.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Benthic Invertebrate Collection The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection (SIO-BIC) is a research repository housing more than 50,000 lots, representing more than 800,000 specimens and more than 7,600 species from marine environments worldwide. The Collection includes extensive holdings from deep-sea environments (>1,000 m), chemosynthetic ecosystems (hydrothermal vents, hydrocarbon seeps, whale falls), Antarctica, and the eastern Pacific. Materials have been collected through a range of techniques, from intertidal hand collecting and SCUBA to trawls and deep-sea submersibles. SIO-BIC contains more than 700 type lots and considerable material properly preserved for genomic studies (95% ethanol and ultracold storage). Multiple preparation types are often available for each lot (e.g., fluid voucher, ethanol subsample, dry material). The searchable electronic database, including a map search feature and specimen images, is updated weekly and publicly accessible online at http://tinyurl.com/siobic. SIO-BIC supports scientific research by providing specimens for study of the taxonomy, biogeography, and evolution of benthic invertebrates, including the description of many new species. Specimens are available for examination at Scripps and for loan to researchers at recognized institutions worldwide, consistent with our loan policies. Collection staff and materials also support education and public outreach via undergraduate and graduate classes, school programs, guest lectures, artist collaborations, and exhibits and events at the Birch Aquarium.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Marine Vertebrate Collection The Marine Vertebrate Collection of Scripps Institution of Oceanography maintains approximately 2 million alcohol-preserved specimens in over 120,000 lots, representing more than 5,600 species of fishes. The Collection maintains worldwide holdings of deep-sea and pelagic fishes as well as extensive holdings of shore fishes from the entire eastern Pacific. The Collection includes primary types of over 200 species (type catalog), skeletal preparations (both dried and cleared-and-stained) for over 1,000 species (osteology catalog), otoliths from approximately 1,100 species (otolith collection), and tissues for DNA from over 1,200 species. Collection data for approximately 110,000 lots are available on a searchable database. The Marine Vertebrate Collection supports scientific research by providing specimens for studies on the taxonomy, evolution, and ecology of fishes. Specimens are available for examination at Scripps and for loan to researchers at recognized institutions (loan policy). The Marine Vertebrate Collection also plays an integral role in the support of graduate courses and research at Scripps.
Sul Ross State University Scudday Vertebrate Collection The James Scudday Vertebrate Collections at Sul Ross State University (SRSU) amass in total more than 12,000 specimens: over 6,000 reptiles, 2,800 mammals, 1,300 amphibians, 1,200 birds, and 1,000 fish. Most of the collection originates from the Trans Pecos region in state of Texas.
Texas A&M University, Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections The collection was originally composed primarily of mammal tissues obtained from genetic related projects of researchers at Texas A&M University, but has grown to include fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. These materials are maintained in ultra-cold freezers at -70°C. All of our tissue samples are represented on the GGBN portal, and vouchers that have associated tissues are in the iDigBio and VertNet portals (the latter has been incorporated into iDigBio). All data are freely available and searchable.
The Field Museum of Natural History, Collections Resource Center The Field Museum's Collection Resource center houses nearly 200,000 cryogenically frozen DNA and tissue samples from plants and animals.
The Mote Marine Laboratory, Ruth Delynn Cetacean Osteological Collection The Ruth Delynn Cetacean Osteological Collection houses approximately 650 specimens spanning 17 species, but most of the records come from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The collection is considered by experts as one of the most important in the world for cetacean taxa. Different types of materials are stored, from dry to wet, ranging from skeletons to frozen soft tissues.
The New York Botanical Garden The New York Botanical Garden's DNA Bank is a centralized repository for use in analyzing plants at their most essential levels. Between extracted DNA samples and tissue collections, the DNA Bank houses approximately 22,000 records. These are authoritatively identified, properly documented, cross-referenced to specimens in the Garden's William and Lynda Steere Herbarium and other herbaria, and managed on the model of traditional museum collections. The records can be easily accessed through an online search mechanism in the website.
University of Alabama, Ichthyology Collection The Ichthyology Collection at the University of Alabama, founded in 1949, is nationally and internationally recognized as an important biological resource. The collection includes over one million preserved, skeletal, and frozen specimens. In the late 1900's the frozen tissue collection expanded considerably, and it is now considered one of the leading collections of such kind in the world. Although the collection's resources derive mainly from Alabama aquatic habitats, there are also other geographic areas represented, such Asia, Europe, and Central and South America.
University of Alaska, Museum of the North As one of the largest collections of its kind in the world, the University of Alaska Museum of the North's Genomic Resources facility contains over 200,000 tissue samples from voucher specimens archived in the Mammalogy, Ornithology, Ichthyology, and Entomology collections. The storage facility consists of eight liquid nitrogen-cooled cryovats that maintain vapor-phase nitrogen at -170°C (-274°F). Information about individual specimens available online via the Arctos database.
University of California Berkeley, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) tissue collection contains approximately 100,000 tissue samples of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Over 90% of these samples have voucher specimens. A fish collection, established in 2019, includes whole preserved specimens in 100% ethanol that also serve as tissue samples for genetic study. Taxonomic and geographic representation of samples primarily reflects the research interests of MVZ faculty, research staff, and graduate students. Sampling is global, with especially strong representation from North, Central, and South America, Caribbean islands, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The largest holdings are for rodents and bats, passerine birds, salamanders, frogs, turtles, lizards, and snakes. Tissues are stored in liquid nitrogen, with original preservation methods varying from frozen (liquid nitrogen or -20°C) to ethanol, RNALater, and other buffer solutions. Tissue data are available through Arctos (arctos.database.museum).
University of California Davis, Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology In 2005, the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology instituted frozen tissue archives for cryostorage in an ultra-cold freezer. The collection includes approximately 300 mammal tissue samples and 4,000 bird tissue samples, primarily from California.
The University of California Davis Nematode Collection (UCDNC) The University of California Davis Nematode Collection (UCDNC) is known world-wide as having one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of plant parasitic, free-living soil, freshwater, and marine nematodes. The UCDNC collection also includes frozen nematode tissues, DNA samples, as well as living cultures of free-living nematodes, mainly from California.
University of California, CALeDNA Program The CALeDNA Program's mission is to collect soil samples across California to understand biodiversity of different taxa (plants, animals, fungi, and microbes) through use of molecular studies involving DNA. There over 2,000 visited sites, nearly 25,000 identified organisms, and 1,492 registered users. Data accessibility is easy, free, and online, and the Program nurtures citizen science!
University of Central Oklahoma, Natural History Museum The frozen tissue collection of the University of Central Oklahoma Natural History Museum houses specimens collected and preserved in cryotubes without the use of lysis buffer or ethanol as a preservative. These specimens are frozen at the time of collection (either in liquid nitrogen or a -20°C freezer) and ultimately stored at -60°C to -80°C. Tissues are associated with voucher specimens accessioned into subsections of the museum (e.g., birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates, etc.).
University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Genetic Resources Repository The Florida Museum of Natural History's Genetic Resources Repository (GRR) archives more than 80,000 tissue samples and DNA and RNA preparations from specimens housed in the Museum's Mammals, Herpetology, Birds, Invertebrate Zoology and Ichthyology divisions, the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, the Herbarium, and the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics. Most samples are stored in cryofreezers, with some desiccated plant samples stored at -20°C. All samples are linked to voucher specimens in the Museum's collections and can be searched via the GRR's online database. The GRR provides samples for non-commercial use.
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaiian Plant DNA Library Since 1992, we have been collecting and extracting DNA from native Hawaiian plants and now have over 5,500 accessions. Although many collections are duplicates for population analysis, there are extensive collections from various trips throughout the islands. Around 86% of the plant genera in Hawaii are represented and over 50% of the species. Many of these plants are endangered, and some are now extinct in the wild. DNA is available for use by all researchers. Most DNA was extracted using a modification of the CTAB and then purified by banding in cesium chloride.
University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute, Genetic Resources Facility KU's Biodiversity Institute maintains a liquid nitrogen cryogenic facility to preserve the institute's irreplaceable and growing collection of tissues of worldwide animals and plants for genetic research. Our centralized liquid nitrogen repository or Genetic Resources Facility is housed on the bottom floor of our specimen wet wing and contains two -170°C, 96,000 tube cryo dewars for long term storage and a -80°C chest freezer for processing material. All KU collections are published to the major aggregator portals (iDigBio, GBIF, Vertnet, Fishnet, OBIS, etc.) as well as local search portals (see below). The tissue collections comprise the following: (1) Herpetology: ~41,000 specimens representing about 6,500 species from 16 countries with particular strengths in the Philippines, Solomon Islands, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Kansas). The herpetology collection (https://collections.biodiversity.ku.edu/KUHerps/) is searchable online where presence of tissue materials are indicated; (2) Ichthyology: ~11,000 specimens representing about 2,845 species from 85 countries with strengths in marine and freshwater holdings from Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, Belize, Fiji, Ethiopia, South Africa, Seychelles, Saipan, Tonga and the US. The tissue collection (https://collections.biodiversity.ku.edu/KU_Fish_tissue/) is searchable online and is published to the GGBN data portal (http://www.ggbn.org/ggbn_portal/); (3) Mammalogy: ~6,000 specimens representing about 350 species from 10 countries with strengths in the neotropics, especially Costa Rica, Guiana, Peru and the Philippines. The mammalogy collection (https://collections.biodiversity.ku.edu/KUMammals/) is searchable online where presence of tissue materials are indicated; and (4) Ornithology: ~25,000 specimens representing about 2,800 species from 30 countries with diverse holdings from China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, United States, and Vietnam. The ornithology collection (https://collections.biodiversity.ku.edu/KUBirds/) is searchable online where presence of tissue materials are indicated. Significant holdings are also present in entomology and botany but are not as yet stored in this facility.
University of Michigan Research Museums Center (RMC) Biorepository The University of Michigan Herbarium and Museum of Zoology jointly administer the Research Museums Center (RMC) Biorepository. The RMC Biorepository is one of several key shared research facilities within the RMC. The RMC Biorepository contains tissue samples and genomic DNA from birds, fishes, mammals, mollusks, and reptiles and amphibians, as well as an active chytrid fungus collection. These samples are housed in five cryogenic freezers with a total capacity of nearly 200,000 2ml vials.
University of Minnesota, Bell Museum of Natural History The Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota maintains frozen tissue collections from amphibians, birds, reptiles, fishes, and plants. Tissues are stored at -70°C or in 95% ethanol and are available for research purposes.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Mammal Collection The Las Vegas Mammal Collection at the University of Nevada houses over 7,000 specimens and 6,000 tissues, most of which are frozen. The geographic focus is on the southwest desert region.
University of New Mexico, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Division of Genomic Resources The Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB), Division of Genomic Resources (DGR) is a centralized repository at the University of New Mexico (UNM) for cryogenic biological materials submitted from MSB divisions at the University of New Mexico and from other individuals and institutions worldwide. The MSB DGR collection archives cryogenically preserved samples of animal tissues, whole organisms such as embryos and parasites, and purified DNA and RNA for the MSB divisions of Mammals, Birds, Fishes, Herpetology, and Parasitology. The MSB DGR collection contains over 500,000 cryogenic samplesof more than 250,000 specimens and 3,000 species, representing Mammals (92%), Birds (4%), Reptiles (1%), Fishes (1%), and a growing collection of associated endo- and ectoparasites (2%). The collection spans more than 30 countries, with particularly strong holdings from the Southwestern UnitedStates, Beringia, and Latin America. Tissues and museum specimens can be located online by searching the Arctos collections database (https://arctosdb.org/) for each of the MSB divisions.
University of Oklahoma, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Oklahoma Collection of Genomic Resources The Sam Noble Museum established the Oklahoma Collection of Genomic Resources in 2006. As an archive of biological tissue samples, this collection is somewhat like a library of genetic biodiversity. Collected and maintained under controlled conditions, these specimens are maintained for current and future research. Our collection currently holds over 49,000 tissue samples from almost 700 genera. This includes more than 1,150 combined species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Most of the samples have voucher specimens that are housed in the Sam Noble Museum. There is a strong representation of mammals from Argentina and Oklahoma, amphibians and reptiles from the United States and the Philippines, birds from the Great Plains, and fish from Puerto Rico. We continue to add to the collection's taxonomic and geographic diversity through research conducted by curators, professional staff, students, and associates in the field.
University of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC), Laboratory of Primate Morphology (LPM) The Laboratory of Primate Morphology and Genetics at the Caribbean Primate Research Center houses approximately 4,000 non-human primate skeletons, and over 600 tissues preserved in ethanol.
University of Texas at Austin, Biodiversity Center, Genetic Resources Collection The Genetic Resources Collection is comprised of more than 40,000 samples housed in liquid nitrogen freezers at ultra-low temperatures (-140°C). The majority of samples are from reptiles, amphibians, and fish, with a handful of samples from insects, birds, and mammals. Collected over the last 30 years, the tissue samples represent the efforts of field research by faculty and graduate students, not just in the U.S. but across the world. Regions of emphasis include Mexico, Central America, South America, and southeast Asia.
University of Utah, Natural History Museum of Utah The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) has an extensive Vertebrate collection with nearly 90,000 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The collection can be searched through Arctos, an online database. There are over 3,000 frozen tissues stored in the Mammal collection. Other important collections at NHMU are Malacology, with 40,000 specimens, Botany with 135,000 specimens, and Entomology with 200,000 specimens. The museum displays a weblink (https://nhmu.utah.edu/search-our-collections) where the catalogue of the collections above and others (Anthropology, Mycology, Minerals, Paleontology, and Annelids) can be searched.
University of Vermont Natural History Museum The University of Vermont Natural History Museum houses over 700,000 specimens. The Pringle Herbarium consists of more than 350,000 plant and fungi specimens. The Thompson Zoological Collections comprise invertebrates, vertebrates, an egg collection, and historic mounts. There are 280,000 insects and 60,000 arachnids, 12,000 mammals, 2,600 herps, and 1,200 birds. The collection also comprises more than 1,000 birds' eggs.
University of Washington, Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, Genetic Resources Collection The Genetic Resources Collection (GRC) at the Burke Museum houses tissue specimens from vertebrates for use in molecular research. The relevance of GRC resources is clearly emphasized by the number of times it has been mentioned in the scientific literature: nearly 700. Even though the collection's strength is centered on avian tissues, its 75,000 records also include mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Tissues are stored in cryo-repositories, to ensure longevity, and most are associated with vouchered specimens.
University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum, Orhithology Department The University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum houses an important genetic resource of frozen blood samples and tissue slides from representatives of nearly all avian families.
University of Wyoming Museum of Vertebrates The University of Wyoming Museum of Vertebrates (UWYMV) houses over 6,000 mammal specimens, approximately 2,500 bird specimens, and nearly 1,000 reptiles and amphibians. The collection also contains fish specimens and more than 600 samples of frozen mammal tissue.
Virginia Museum of Natural History The Virginia Museum of Natural History has over 10 million specimens in its collections, including a frozen tissue collection with more than 8,800 samples representing more than 5,500 individuals.
Washington State University, Charles R. Conner Museum The Conner Museum collection provides a reservoir of material–including a frozen tissue collection–upon which molecular studies of animal diversity in the Pacific Northwest can be based.
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Cryo Collection The Yale Peabody Cryo Collection (YPCC) is a common facility shared by the Peabody's divisions for preserving tissues and samples under ultra-cold conditions.