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Policy and Procedures of the
MSB Division of Genomic Resources

The Division of Genomic Resources (DGR) of the Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB) is a centralized repository for cryogenic material from all MSB divisions at the University of New Mexico and other individuals and institutions worldwide for which archival agreements are extant. Collections include, but are not limited to, cryogenically preserved samples of plant and animal tissues, whole organisms such as embryos and parasites, and purified nucleic acids. Samples are archived in ultra-low freezers at a minimum of 80 degrees centigrade.

Specimens are accepted for permanent deposition and available for loans based on the policy outlined below.

Loan Policy

  1. Under normal conditions, loan of materials or access to the DGR database will be determined by the curator in consultation with appropriate division personnel and/or with appropriate donors. For recent accessions and for sensitive materials it is divisional policy to consult with donors prior to granting access to materials or information. The length of time such restrictions remain in place will be determined on a case by case basis.
  2. Loans are made to institutions on behalf of qualified researchers.  Major professors must co-sign loan requests for their students. 
  3. A loan or information request will only be considered if made in writing to the curator of the relevant collection.
  4. Loan approval may depend upon the volume of tissue available and rarity of taxon.
  5. Preference is given to researchers who collect specimens.
  6. Any unused material (including molecular extracts and ancillary products) not consumed in the study should be returned to the DGR.
  7. Loans are normally made for a period of one year and are for the sole purpose stated in the loan agreement. Use for other purposes or re-distribution to other parties is strictly prohibited without prior written consent from the curator of the DGR.
  8. The MSB Division of Genomic Resources is to be acknowledged in all presentations and publications resulting from loaned material. Reprints (PDFs) of published works shall be provided to the Curator of the respective division.
  9. The cost of shipping and handling is to be borne by the user except in cases where reciprocal agreements or other arrangements are in place.
  10.  Individuals receiving loans of DGR material are considered official representatives of the institution to whom the loan is made. Willful violation of the conditions of the loan agreement may result in loss of use privileges for that institution.

Accession Policy

  1. All accessions (permanently archived material) from non-MSB individuals or institutions must have written approval from the curator of DGR. Long-term projects involving multiple accessions may be authorized under a single agreement. Likewise, a single agreement with an institution or agency where the DGR serves as the repository for multiple accessions from that institution is allowable provided all stipulations below are met.
  2. Donations of materials to the DGR are regulated by policies of the MSB and the University of New Mexico (see MSB policy manual for details). In most cases, tissues are accessioned without conditions and become the permanent property of the University of New Mexico. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis where state or federal laws prohibit such donations or where especially sensitive materials may be involved (also see loan policy below).
  3. Proof must be provided that all material was legally collected and, for non-US samples, legally exported and imported.
  4. All samples must be accompanied by relevant data. This includes identity and final deposition site of voucher material and other appropriate information such as date of original collection, geographic location of the collection, collector, location and method of amplification, GENBANK accession numbers, etc. Before samples will be accepted into the DGR collection they must be marked with the DGR NK number, issued by the collection manager or curator, unless otherwise pre-arranged.

Procedures for Requesting Information or Loans

  1. Inquires about the Division of Genomics Resources holdings must be made in writing or e-mail to the curator.

                     Birds - Dr. Chris Witt

                     Mammals - Dr. Joe Cook

                     Fishes - Dr. Tom Turner

                     Amphibians and Reptiles - Dr. Howard Snell

  1. A request for a loan of material must be made in writing on institutional letterhead (PDF) addressed to the curator and copied to the collection manager. The request should contain the following information:
    1. A brief outline of the goals, methods, and project time-line justifying the use of the samples. Please include the source of project funding (e.g. NSF, NIH with grant numbers), numbers of tissues collected by the researcher and those requested from institutions other then DGR. Requestors should detail their efforts to contribute to the growth of these types of frozen archives.
    2. The list of specimens requested by taxon and NK number. Please minimize the amount of tissue requested and note the preferred shipping method. (e.g. Dry ice, 95% EtOH).
    3. A Fed-EX account number (or comparable charge number) for shipping expenses.
    4. Copies of USDA, CITIES Institutional or other appropriate permits (if required).
    5. Large requests may entail additional handling charges.


                View loan request example

Loan Receipt and Conditions

  1. It is the borrowers responsibility to immediately report specimen damage and/or discrepancies in the invoice. 
  2. Loans are made to other institutions by the MSB-DGR and are subject to the condition that, should MSB desire to recall any item for its own purposes, it may do so with 30 days notice to the borrower.
  3. Frozen tissue must be maintained in an ultra-cold facility (- 80oc freezer or liquid nitrogen) until used. 
  4. Patenting of products discovered through use of these specimens (or associated materials) is not allowed without the written consent of MSB.  This is a loan for the specified project only.  Material is non-transferable.  Used portions or products must be returned to MSB within 60 days of completion of this work.  Please use the NK and MSB catalog numbers in any sub samples or product. 

  5. If appropriate, please acknowledge this collection in any publications or exhibits resulting from your use of this material.

    Upon completion/publication of your work, please send a reprint ( PDF) of publications (with note as to what loan # and specimens the publication is derived from), and a list of GenBank accession numbers with corresponding MSB/NK numbers to the address below.

    Cheryl Parmenter 

    Museum of Southwestern Biology 

    Division of Genomic Resources 

    MSC03 2020, Department of Biology 

    University of New Mexico 

    Albuquerque, N.M. 87131


    Citing MSB Specimens in Genbank

  1. Each specimen that is sequenced should be given a separate GenBank accession number, even if the sequence is identical to other individuals. 
  2. GenBank accessions should report the MSB catalog number (e.g. MSB:mamm:XXXXXX) in the “specimen_voucher=” field.  If the specimen only has a MSB:DGR NK number then the citation should be MSB:DGR:NK:XXXXX.


    Return Shipping

    Great care should be taken in packing specimens for return shipment.  Use the following information as a guideline for shipping:

    1. Frozen tissue: Use a minimum of 10lbs of dry ice for overnight shipments. Tissues should be double bagged in plastic to prevent leakage.
    2. Alcohol preserved tissues may be shipped in a secure container at room temperature.
    3. DNA may be shipped in a secure container at room temperature.
    4. Place a copy of the loan invoice in an envelope attached to the outside of the shipping container. Insure loan and shipment for the maximum amount allowable.