General rules on destructive sampling

The Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC's collections are kept with a view to enabling their use in scientific research in way that is compatible with their conservation. Therefore, while it is our intention to facilitate their use in research to the fullest possible extent, decisions regarding destructive sampling of specimens will be made on a case by case basis.

No material may be separated from the original specimen without the prior written consent of the curator responsible for the collection. This permission, which is also to be signed by the researcher making the application, entails the researcher's making the following commitments, in addition to those mentioned above in the publications section:

  1. Leaves, pollen, spores, etc. may only be taken if the available material is sufficient and subsequent studies will not be compromised by the removal of this material. Extreme care must be taken not to damage the specimen more than is strictly necessary.
  2. No material may be taken from type specimens or from those taxons which are represented in the herbarium by less than 3 specimens.
  3. Each sample must be accompanied by a label indicating the material used, the nature of the study, the scientific name accepted by the researcher, his or her name and that of the centre at which he or she is working, and the date. The MA herbarium must be cited in any resulting publications and copy of the publication must be sent to it.
  4. In general, material may not be used for a second study of the same type as a previous one (pollen for S.E.M, material for DNA analysis, etc.). Exceptions may be considered when the specimen includes additional material for specific purposes, in particular, for DNA analysis.
  5. Depending on the purpose of the material taken, the researcher must return the following items to the Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC Herbarium: a permanent microscopic preparation of the pollen, leaf, spores or other material studied; S.E.M. photographs; and aliquot of the extracted DNA, etc. This material will be incorporated in the MA Herbarium where it will be available to future studies. The relevant cross references will be made between the original specimen and materials produced by destructive studies.
  6. All applications to extract DNA from a herbarium specimen must be accompanied by the extraction protocol, which must always state the estimated amount of material due to be removed from the sheet. The request will be reviewed by the curator in charge of the collection along with an RJB specialist in molecular techniques. The MA Herbarium must be notified of the results of this analysis (positive or negative) in writing. Specimens must be labelled to indicate that they have been used for this type of analysis (see point 3). The Accession number in GenBank or in any other relevant database must be included or sent later. An aliquot of the extracted DNA must be sent to the MA Herbarium. These samples must be stored in an appropriate way and made available to future studies.
  7. The MA Herbarium does not keep records of the treatments the specimens it keeps have been subjected to, so cannot guarantee that the material sent is suitable for the purpose for which it has been requested.
Real Jardín Botánico
Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC. Plaza de Murillo, 2. Madrid E-28014 (ESPAÑA). Tel. +34 91 4203017. FAX: +34 91 4200157
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