NTNU Vitenskapsmuseets blogger

Threatened species gets eternal life

By admin

Isbjørn ursus-maritimus copyright biopix.dk

Loss of biological diversity represents one of the major challenges of our time. The Museum of Natural History and Archaeology in Trondheim (NTNU) has established a DNA and tissue collection consisting of threatened species in Norway. This will give unique information on the most vulnerable parts of Norwegian nature. This also opens up for the possibility of reintroduction of species gone extinct.

Species go extinct and biodiversity is lost at a catastrophic pace all around the world. It is highly likely that species will continue to go extinct from Norwegian and Scandinavian nature also in decades to come. Some endangered species are only found here, and if they go extinct, then these species are lost from the planet. Many other species represent particular genetic adaptations to Norwegian and Northern European environmental conditions, and such ecotypes will also be unique to our part of the world.

The Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, NTNU, is establishing a scientific collection of DNA and tissue samples from all threatened species in Norway called ColdGene (“Collection of genetic resources from threatened species in Norway”). The collection is a collaboration between The Museum and HUNT biobank, NTNU.

This collection will increase our knowledge on the biology of threatened species since this information is stored in the DNA and cell material of the collected species. The information stored in the collection will be available for all generations to come.