MVZ Tissue Collection

The MVZ tissue collection contains approximately 11,000 mammal, 8,000 bird, and 20,000 herpetological tissue samples. Over 90% of these samples have voucher specimens in the MVZ collections. The majority of samples were preserved in the field in liquid nitrogen and are stored at -75°C. However, the Museum also maintains a growing collection of non-frozen tissues preserved in 95% ethanol or in buffer. In addition, DNA obtained from traditional specimen material (e.g., skin, hair, feathers, toe pads, bone) represents a potentially important resource for genetic studies.

Taxonomic and geographic representation of samples in the collection primarily reflects the research interests of MVZ faculty, research staff, and graduate students. Thus, the mammal tissue collection is especially strong for New World rodents and bats, the bird collection is dominated by New World passerines, and the herp collection is strongest in New World and Old World salamanders, lizards, and snakes. Despite these emphases, recent expeditions to Iran, Vietnam, China, and Russia have resulted in significant acquisitions of new taxa. In addition, general salvage of specimens by the Museum and local wildlife centers provides a major source of new material for both non-passerine and passerine birds.

Click here to query the MVZ database

Policy on grants of tissue from the MVZ

Links of Interest

National Center for Biotechnology Information (GenBank)
European Molecular Biology Laboratory Database (EMBL)
Ribosomal Database Project II
Opportunistic Collection of Tissue in the Field (pdf file, The Australian Museum)

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