Introduction to UJ DNA Bank

Our Mission

Southern Africa has the richest temperate flora in the world with 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. Our Bank aims to preserve representative genetic information of the high diversity presented by southern African flora as a resource to be utilized in plant research by current and future generations.

Purpose of the Bank

Its main purpose is to enhance plant taxonomic and evolutionary studies by providing:

  • Permanent storage of Plant DNA material
  • Documentation of each sample in a database online
  • DNA aliquots. This is subjected 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 UJ DNA Bank currently contains over 12 000 samples either extracted (Doyle and Doyle, 1987) or as desiccated leaves in silica bags. Each sample is vouchered (JRAU or BNRH). To view the samples go to "DNA Bank Database".

Help / Orders or General Queries

The UJ DNA Bank will only release samples under specific conditions to support appropriate research projects. To order DNA material, please print out and complete the Order Form and sign the Agreement, and send both to the Curator: Olivier Maurin. In order to defray a portion of the costs of maintaining, expanding and distributing the collection, a contribution of R120 per sample supplied is requested.

Curator: Michelle van der bank

Molecular Systematics Laboratory
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 2495 / 3477
Fax: +27 11 559 2411

DNA donations

DNA donations are accepted free of charge, to be incorporated into the UJ 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 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 the scientific collection may do so by contacting the curator. The donor of the DNA will be acknowledged in the database.

Citing the database

University of Johannesburg, South Africa, DNA Bank