The University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS) has a legal, professional, and moral obligation to maintain its collections for the public good. The collections are maintained with the goal of balancing the preservation of the integrity of herbarium specimens with utilization for contemporary scientific research. The judicious dissection of specimens is normally permitted (all dissected material is returned to the specimen). This policy, however, applies to destructive sampling, i.e., permanent removal of material for purposes such as SEM, DNA, palynological, and anatomical studies. The herbarium recognizes that destructive analysis of specimens may yield beneficial information and is in the public interest.
The destructive analysis policies of the University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS) are a supplement to our collection use and loan policies. They follow standards as specified in: Metsger, Deborah A. and Sheila C. Byers, eds. 1999. Managing the modern herbarium: an interdisciplinary approach. Elton-Wolf Publishing, Vancouver, Canada (p. 345-350).
- The researcher should make a serious effort to obtain fresh material first. "The use of herbarium/museum material for the extraction of DNA or other compounds must be the last resort rather than the first step of a phylogenetic analysis." (Metsger, 1999, p. 347)
- Material may be removed from specimens only with prior approval from the administration of the University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS). Permission is granted on a case-by-case basis and will be contingent upon the return of a signed destructive analysis contract.
- Requests for destructive analysis must include the title of the project, a summary of the specimens and materials required and a description of the procedure to be employed. The project should have a specific, well-defined scope. Permission is not typically granted for building general, comparative collections. The laboratory techniques to be utilizied should be likely to succeed based on the experience of the researcher and on the material selected.
- Material may be removed only when done in a manner that will not degrade the scientific value of the specimen. When possible samples should be taken from the material available in fragment packets and from obscured portions of the specimen. Great care should be taken not to damage the specimen when removing material.
- Material removed and plant products obtained from CITES and U.S. Fish and Wildlife listed taxa, including endangered species and noxious weeds, may not be transported without obtaining all the necessary legal permits.
- Material may not be removed from a herbarium sheet for a second time if the nature of the study is the same (i.e., pollen material for SEM, leaf material for DNA analysis, etc.).
- Material may not be removed from type collections or from poorly represented taxa in the herbarium, except in rare instances, and then only by an appropriate staff member or with express permission of an appropriate staff member.
- Each sheet must be annotated to indicate the material removed, the name of the researcher and their institutional affiliation, the nature of the study and the date of removal. Reports of failed analyses are just as important as the documentation of success.
- Any DNA sequence data derived from these specimens should be deposited in GenBank (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank/GenbankOverview.html). The GenBank accession numbers should be provided to FLAS and/or included on the annotation.
- A copy of any SEM or light photographs taken of the material should be deposited at the University of Florida Herbarium. Such photographs should provide the name of the taxon, collector's name and number, FLAS accession number, the magnification, and the method of preparation.
- The University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS) must be cited in any publication based, at least in part, upon our specimens. A copy of the resulting publication should be sent for deposit in our library. Our specimens should be cited with the accepted herbarium acronym "FLAS".
- Use of University of Florida Herbarium material is provided without express or implied warranty, including the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.
|Title of project:|
|Material to be removed / procedure (e.g. pollen for slide, 1 sq. cm. leaf for DNA):|
|I agree to abide by the University of Florida Herbarium destructive analysis regulations.|
|Signature of Investigator
|Signature of UF Herbarium Administator
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Page last updated: 1 May 2013
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