Participating in the BBSA

Contributing samples


Guidelines for samples / specimens or cultures being deposited in one of the biobanks
(More info coming soon) 

Participating Institutions
Core Biobanks

South African National Parks

Researchers at the SANParks Veterinary Wildlife Services Biobanks at  Skukuza and Kimberley collect samples from, and conduct research on, dozens of species from all over South Africa – promoting conservation from rhinos to lions, and more.

South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
With over a million aquatic specimens, including amphibians, cephalopods, tunicates and diatoms, and several coelacanths, the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (NRF-SAIAB) is an internationally-recognised centre for the study of aquatic biodiversity.

South African National Biodiversity Institute

The South African National Biodiversity Institute is the host institution for the BBSA, and also manages and maintains several biobanks, including the:
Indigenous Plant DNA Biobank
SANBI Wildlife Biobank
SANBI Seed Bank

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
The National Plant Genetic Resources Center collects characterizes and evaluates South Africa’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Grootfontein Biobank for SA sheep and goat breeds collects and store biological samples, phenotypic and genomic data from resource and reference sheep and goat flocks.

University of Free State’s Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology
The University of the Free State Yeast Culture Collection is a national resource for yeast diversity research, housing a collection of over 3000 yeast isolates from various habitats in South Africa and worldwide – the largest collection of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

University of Western Cape Institute of Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM)
The IMBM is well known for its research in the fields of microbial biotechnology, bioactive discovery and microbial ecology. The IMBM microbial biobank contains about 4 000 bacterial strains from a range of South African marine and other unique environments.

Agricultural Research Council
Plant Microbiology
South African Rhizobium Culture Collection
National Collections of Fungi, Entomology & Arachnology
Vegetable & Ornamental Plants Biobanks (Ipomoea (Sweet potato), Indigenous Vegetables, Commercial Vegetables, other vegetatively propagated crops)

Animal Production Biobank
Grains gene banks
Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Biobank
Honeybush and Rooibos Tea gene bank
Protea gene bank

Participating Institutions
Affiliated Biobanks

Currently under development

What are biodiversity biobanks?

Biodiversity biobanks are repositories of biologically relevant resources, including reproductive tissues such as seeds, eggs and sperm, other tissues including blood, DNA extracts, microbial cultures (active and dormant), and environmental samples containing biological communities….