DNA Repository

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s DNA Repository offers scientists, students, and other researchers year-round access to leaf tissue and extracted plant DNA. The Garden’s Science Collections Database allows interested parties to search for available specimens among thousands of available species. Each listing in the database merges information from the Nancy Poole Rich HerbariumDixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank, and DNA Repository into one listing per species. Records predominantly include plant species grown locally and regionally in the United States, including a number that are rare or endangered.
If raw plant material for DNA extraction is available at the Garden for a given species, its availability is noted in the database listing, alongside other available data from the Hebarium and Seed Bank. For an individual listing, you may click the View button on the upper right of the listing to review the full record. Scroll down through the record to find DNA accession information including the number, available supply of materials, collection date, and other available details. From this page, most plants are also shown on an interactive map, which may be opened by selecting the button to View Google Map. The location of species that are rare or threatened is not disclosed via the database.
In most cases, a collection consists of samples from a single individual specimen that was collected at single location. In some cases, research collections have multiple samples from a single population. DNA samples are stored at the Garden in a range of conditions, which vary due to the variety of sources of the material. Frozen fresh leaf material and dried samples are stored at -20 degrees Celsius. Extracted DNA is stored in an ultracold freezer at -80 degrees Celsius. Garden scientists work with genetic plant information to study paternity, genetic fingerprinting, gene flow, and DNA sequencing. Data may be used for research in fields as diverse as systematics, restoration, invasives species, genetics, medicinal research, and historic climate change. 
To request a sample from the Garden’s DNA Repository, please contact Dr. Jeremie Fant