The Herpetology Collections of the TNHC consist of fluid-preserved amphibians and reptiles, as well as osteological specimens and preserved tissues and tissue extracts. The Ichthyology Collections are in the beginning stages of starting a tissue collection. The TNHC is a centralized repository, and we encourage its use by the international, non profit, research community. This document describes procedures for requesting DNA/tissue samples from TNHC.
The policy governing the use of TNHC tissues is intended to provide fair access to the collection. It is based on the following:
The TNHC Genetic Resources consists mainly of material assembled by TNHC and/or University of Texas researchers for support of specific projects. In general, this material is intended for use by these researchers and their collaborators, although we commonly grant use of these tissues to other researchers. Certain donated specimens are for general community use, except when restricted by the donor.
Tissue samples are an expendable resource; tissue loans are termed “grants” because of their consumable nature. Thus, requests are evaluated depending on the amount of tissue requested and the intended use.
Grantees are expected to publish the results of research using TNHC tissues and deposit sequences derived from the tissues in genetic databanks.
Tracking the use of tissue samples that are loaned documents the usefulness of this material, and therefore is important for obtaining further funding for research projects that make these samples available. Reporting the use of the material also fulfills permit requirements.
Donated tissues must be accompanied by either a museum invoice or copies of appropriate permits (e.g., U.S. collecting permit or a country-of-origin export permit). Tissues without voucher specimens and collection data have limited value, because there is no way to verify identification or perform complementary studies in anatomy, geographic variation, etc.
The TNSC and TNHC operate in strict accordance with all relevant laws, and regulations regarding the transport of such material.
Specific samples are requested in writing on institutional letterhead from the Curator of Herpetology, David C. Cannatella. Graduate students should submit a letter co-signed by their advisor, who is equally responsible for the samples. If the tissue request is approved, a Letter of Agreement will be mailed to the researcher. The request will be processed upon receipt of the Agreement and in order of receipt in relation to other approved loans, with the caveat that in-house tissue requests receive priority.
A tissue request should provide the following information:
A committee that consists of David Cannatella, Travis LaDuc, and Edward Theriot will evaluate the tissue request. If the tissues have been donated to the Collection by a non-TNHC/UT researcher who wishes to be involved in tissue grant decisions, we will obtain his/her opinion.
Questions about the Tissue Grant Policy should be directed to the Curator of Herpetology, David C. Cannatella.