DNA Bank

Our Mission

Southern Africa has the richest temperate flora in the world. It has more than 24 000 taxa of 368 families, including more than 10% of the world’s vascular plant flora on less than 2.5% of the earth’s land surface area. The ACDB DNA Bank aims to preserve representative genetic information of the high diversity presented by Southern African flora. This is a resource that can be utilised in plant research by current and future generations.

Purpose of the ACDB DNA Bank

Our bank’s main purpose is to enhance plant taxonomic and evolutionary studies by providing:

  • Permanent storage of plant DNA material
  • Documentation of each sample in an online database
  • DNA aliquots – This is subject to the recipient’s compliance with the letter and spirit of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)


Policies have been developed in line with the UN Convention for Biological Diversity. Samples will not be made available for bio-prospecting endeavors or any other commercial application.

Available Taxa in the DNA Bank

The DNA Bank currently contains over 15 000 samples. These are either extracted (Doyle and Doyle, 1987) or desiccated leaves in silica bags. Each sample is vouchered. Currently, the DNA Bank Database is under development. Please contact the Curator of the ACDB DNA Bank directly via email for an updated species list.

Help / Orders or General Queries

The ACDB DNA Bank will only release samples under specific conditions. These conditions primarily support appropriate research projects. To order DNA material, please print out and complete this order form and sign the agreement. Then, please send both to the ACDB DNA bank Curator. In order to defray a portion of the costs of maintaining, expanding and distributing the collection, a contribution of 100 ZAR (national) / 250 ZAR (international) per sample supplied is requested.

Curator ACDB Bank

D Lab 115 – The African Center for DNA Barcoding
University of Johannesburg, APK Campus
Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology
PO BOX 524 – Auckland Park 2006
Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa
Phone: +27 11 559 3477
Email: dna_bank@acdb.co.za

DNA donations

DNA donations are accepted free of charge, to be incorporated into the ACDB DNA Bank under the following conditions:

  1. All necessary information must be supplied (collecting data, identifier, method and date of extraction)
  2. A fully-labelled voucher specimen must be deposited in an appropriate herbarium
  3. It must be certified that the plant material was obtained in compliance with the rules of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Donors wishing to lodge material to benefit the growth of this scientific collection may do so by contacting the ACDB Bank Curator. The donor of the DNA will be acknowledged in the database.

Citing the database

The African Centre for DNA Barcoding DNA Bank, South Africa.