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Colombian frozen biodiversity: 16 years of the tissue collection of the Humboldt institute
Arbeláez-Cortés, E.; Torres, M.F.; López-Álvarez, D.; Palacio-Mejía, J.D.; Mendoza, A.M.; Medina, C.A. (2015). Colombian frozen biodiversity: 16 years of the tissue collection of the Humboldt institute. Acta Biologica Colombiana 20(2): 163-173. https://hdl.handle.net/10.15446/abc.v20n2.47102
In: Acta Biologica Colombiana. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología: Bogota. ISSN 0120-548X; e-ISSN 1900-1649, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    biological collections, biorepository, birds, cryoconservation, Neotropics, plants

Authors  Top 
  • Arbeláez-Cortés, E.
  • Torres, M.F.
  • López-Álvarez, D.
  • Palacio-Mejía, J.D.
  • Mendoza, A.M.
  • Medina, C.A.

Abstract
    Collections of frozen tissue samples stand as keystone sources of molecular information to construct biodiversity knowledge, and are particularly challenged if they focus on megadiverse countries. In 1998 the Humboldt Institute (Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt) began a tissue collection of Colombian biodiversity (IAvH-CT) and the aim of this work is to present a diagnostic and an historical perspective for that collection, constructed by compiling information and experiences on its management as well as by organizing and curating the information of each catalogued sample. After 16 years, the IAvH-CT harbors 16,469 samples, which represent around 2530 species from 1289 genera, and 323 families of the Colombian biodiversity. Samples are biased toward plants (44 %) and birds (40 %), but also include other animal taxa. Geographically, IAvH-CT includes samples from all Colombian departments, but there is broad variation in their coverage. When compared with other international collections, IAvH-CT fulfills several standards of sample storage and data management, but its major weakness is that several tissues seem to lack a vouchered specimen. Tissues housed at IAvH-CT have been included in at least 48 studies published in several scientific journals. IAvH-CT is implementing strategies to improve curatorial standards, fill-in taxonomic gaps, and to explore the potential of its samples to understand the outstanding Colombian biota in a cooperative research framework among institutions.

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