Herbarium and Plant DNA Biobank

Presentation

The Herbarium of the University of Salamanca (SALA, an acronym in accordance with Index herbariorum) is a scientific collection of dried plants, which have been appropriately prepared to ensure their indefinite conservation. They are conveniently labelled and perfectly ordered. From the very onset, the Herbarium has formed a part of the AHIM (Ibero-Macaronesian Herbaria Association) and is also one of the main basic herbaria used for the works Flora iberica and Flora Briofítica Ibérica.

Meanwhile, the Plant DNA Biobank of the University of Salamanca (SALA-DNA) is a technological platform used for supporting research, and is associated with the Herbarium and the National DNA Bank. This Biobank collects, processes and stores samples offered to the scientific community to facilitate, promote and develop genomic research, mainly on wild plants.

Both infrastructures store and make available to the international scientific community the samples they hold, which include, in the case of the herbarium, approximately 162,500 sheets of vascular plants, 1,950 fungal samples and an additional 4,200 Bryophytes. The DNA Biobank holds more than 5,000 samples. Associated information is also available (geographic data, information regarding the collectors, etc.) to be used for developing projects shown to be of scientific, social and/or environmental high quality, conforming to strict ethical standards. Additionally, the Herbarium and the DNA Biobank provide data to both the national and international GBIF portals (Global Biodiversity Information Facility).

This combined technological infrastructure (SALA + SALA-DNA) offers different types of services. These include, for example: the collection, drying, pressing, assembly, labelling and computerization of plant or fungal material, with special emphasis on wild species; material identification, as far as possible and depending on the taxonomic complexity of the biological group in question; automated DNA extraction; the storage and management of external sample collections (after verification of quality standards); providing different types of genetic data on stored samples (sequencing of nuclear or plastid DNA regions, obtaining markers for genetic fingerprinting, etc.).

 

For any additional information please feel free to contact us at SALA-DNA@usal.es

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