Having chosen Inga umbellifera as the study organism for our NBAF-funded project to test the use of hybrid baits for recovery of DNA sequences from herbarium material, we had to pick a set of herbarium specimens from which to extract DNA. The funding we had received would allow us to make and sequence about 30 libraries, but in order to test the methods thoroughly we wanted to include replicates, and test DNA extraction types, methods for repairing degraded DNA, and other library preparation variables. So, instead of sequencing 30 different specimens, we selected only seven (listed below), ranging from only 6 years to 180 years in age. For the two most recent samples, from 2009 and 2004, silica-dried tissue collections had also been made. One of these had already been sequenced by Nicholls et al. (submitted), and the other we included as part of our study so that direct comparisions could be made between sequence data from silica-dried and herbarium material, to see if there were measurable differences in sequence quality, or mutations introduced by DNA degradation processes.

2009: no. 16L 145, FRENCH GUIANA, Inselberg Grand Plateau (E) – we had both silica-dried tissue and the herbarium material for this collection. The green colour of the herbarium material in the picture can be an indication that the plant has been dried quickly (as long as the initial leaf colour was green!).

Inga umbellifera no. 16L-145, 2009

Inga umbellifera no. 16L-145, 2009

2004: Kyle Dexter no. 401, PERU, Madre De Dios, Los Amigos Biological Station, floodplain (E) – we had both silica-dried tissue and the herbarium material for this collection. The herbarium material still appeared quite green.

Inga umbellifera, Kyle Dexter 401

Inga umbellifera, Kyle Dexter, 2004

1991: Tello 2608, PERU, Departamento Ica: Provincia Ica (E)

Inga umbellifera Tello

Inga umbellifera Tello

1948: FDBG no. 5682, GUIANA (K)


Inga umbellifera, FDBG, 1948

1932: Lawrance no. 260,  COLOMBIA, N.W. Chapor: Boyaca, 100 miles NW of Bogota (E) – the plant tissue that we were given by the RBGE Herbarium staff for our DNA extractions from this plant can be seen on the specimen image, contained in a packet on the lower right hand side. It’s essentially dross of broken up plant parts, including bits of flowers and leaves, and some things that were harder to identify. This specimen is an ISOTYPE for the name Inga lawranceana Britton & Killip, which is a SYNONYM of Inga umbellilfera.

Inga umbellifera, Laurence 260

Inga umbellifera, Lawrance, 1932

Inga umbellifera Lawrence, 1932

Inga umbellifera, Lawrance, 1932















1840: Hostmann no. 1711, SURINAME (K) – this leaf has been taken from a herbarium sheet. The two images show the underside (with the veins visible) and the upper side of the leaf. It appears to have been stuck surface-down, as there is glue residue visible on the upper leaf surface. This leaf appears completely brown.

Inga umbellifera 1840

Inga umbellifera, Hostmann 1840 – leaf underside

Inga umbellifera, Hostmann 1840

Inga umbellifera, Hostmann 1840 – upper leaf surface

 1835: Matthews no. 1593, PERU, Departamento San Martín: Provincia San Martín, Tarapato (E)

Inga umbellifera Matthews

Inga umbellifera, Matthews, 1835


James A. Nicholls, R. Toby Pennington, Erik J.M. Koenen, Colin E. Hughes, Jack Hearn, Lynsey Bunnefeld, Kyle G. Dexter, Graham N. Stone & Catherine A. Kidner. 2015. Using targeted enrichment of nuclear genes to increase phylogenetic resolution in the neotropical rain forest genus Inga (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). Frontiers in Plant Science 6: 710. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00710


Capturing Genes from Herbaria. I. What it’s all about. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16411

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. II. Inga. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16427

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. III. The samples. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16441

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. IV. DNA. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16470

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. V. Fragmenting the DNA. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16525

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. VI. Size Selection. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16645

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. VII. Comparisons. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16737

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. VIII. Amplification. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16788

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. IX. Hybrid capture. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/17298

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. X. An update. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/20751

Capturing Genes from Herbaria. XI. Some metagenomics of a herbarium specimen. http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/20817