Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Website Search Box
Dept. of Botany
tube and rack

Tissue Samples

Collection of tissue for DNA extraction:
Coin Envelope for samples Archival quality coin envelopes used are from Uline,, catalogue # S-11485.

- Place a tender leaf or piece/s of leaf tissue about 3x5 cm in an archival quality coin envelope labeled with sample information per individual sample.
- Each envelope should be labeled with:

  • taxonomic name
  • sample # (i.e. 1 of 4, 2 of 4, 3 of 4, 4 of 4)
  • collector #
  • collector's name
- Place envelopes in a sealed container or plastic zip bag with sufficient silica gel to dry the tissue. Using indicating silica gel will help determine if silica gel needs to be replaced or reactivated.

Do not put any material destined for DNA extraction in the drying oven. Silica gel is the best way to dry and preserve the tissue. Keep envelopes in the dark away from light.
silica beads
Indicating silica gel 3-5 mm beads are from Poly Lam Products, Inc.,

NOTE: In some cases, if leaf tissue is thick/succulent, it is best to dry the tissue in a zip-lock, sealable plastic bag with silica gel. Place the leaf tissue directly in the silica gel. Once dry, the tissue should be removed and placed in the coin envelope for archival storage.

Lock & Lock box # ZHPL836 from Heritage Mint, has a gasket on the lid and provides an air tight seal.




Storage of collected tissue:

- Silica dried tissue from each individual should be placed in 2.25 x 3.5 in. archival quality, paper coin envelopes and stored in sealed containers with silica gel for long-term archival storage. Store in the dark.

- Duplicate tissue samples in coin envelopes sent to the Plant DNA Barcoding Group can be shipped in zip bags with silica gel.

[ TOP ]