Arbeit in der DNA-Bank

DNA Bank

Molecular data, particularly DNA sequences, are increasingly important for biosystematics, ecology and nature conservation. DNA sequences and fingerprints is routinely generated by many research groups because some of the most interesting questions about the evolution of life or the interactions between organisms in ecosystems cannot be answered without such data. The Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt/M. (SF) houses millions of collections that form a huge archive for basic research in this field.

At room temperature, DNA slowly degrades. It is technically difficult to isolate intact DNA from old museum collections. Therefore, the DNA Bank of SF and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (SBiK-F) stores isolated genomic DNA of all organismal groups at –80 °C and makes samples available for researchers. The DNA bank was installed in 2007 following a generous donation by the Ernst Max von Grunelius-Stiftung and is run jointly by SF and SBiK-F.

For most of the DNA samples voucher specimens are stored in the collections of SF. Information on vouchers (scientific names, locality data, collectors, dates) are available through the Senckenberg collection database SeSam – currently, the new database system AQUiLA is being developed.

Please send enquiries or suggestions regarding the DNA bank to

References (preservation methods)

Nagy, Z.T. (2010): A hands-on overview of tissue preservation methods for molecular genetic analyses.- Organisms Diversity & Evolution 10: 91-105. DOI 10.1007/s13127-010-0012-4

Gemeinholzer, B., Rey, I., Weising, K., Grundmann, M., Müllner, A.N., Zetsche, H., Droege, G., Seberg, O., Petersen, G., Rawson, D.M. & Weigt, L.A. (2010): Chapter 7 – Organizing specimen and tissue preservation techniques in the field for subsequent molecular analyses.- In: Jutta Eymann, Jérôme Degreef, Christoph Häuser, Juan Carlos Monje, Yves Samyn & Didier VandenSpiegel (eds.): ABC-Taxa (2010) Volume 8 – Manual on Field Recording Techniques and Protocols for All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories; Belgium.

Heike Kappes bei Molekularuntersuchungen


Portrait Christian Printzen, Sektionsleiter Kryptogamen
Dr. Christian Printzen
Head of the Division of Botany and Molecular Evolution and Head of the Herbarium Senckenbergianum (FR) (both acting) as well as Head of Cryptogams section

Selected publications


Borsch T, Stevens AD, Häffner E, Güntsch A, Berendsohn WG, Appelhans MS, Ba-rilaro C, Beszteri B, Blattner FR, Bossdorf O, Dalitz H, Dressler S, Duque-Thüs R, Es-ser HJ, Franzke A, Goetze D, Grein M, Grünert U, Hellwig F, Hentschel J, Hörandl E, Janßen T, Jürgens N, Kadereit G, Karisch T, Koch MA, Müller F, Müller J, Ober D, Porembski S, Poschlod P, Printzen C, Röser M, Sack P, Schlüter P, Schmidt M, Schnittler M, Scholler M, Schultz M, Seeber E, Simmel J, Stiller M, Thiv M, Thüs H, Tkach N, Triebel D, Warnke U, Weibulat T, Wesche K, Yurkov A, Zizka G. 2020. A complete digitization of German herbaria is possible, sensible and should be started now. Research Ideas and Outcomes 6: e50675

Lutsak T, Fernández-Mendoza F, Kirika P, Wondafrash M, Printzen C. 2020. Coalescence-based species delimitation using genome-wide data reveals hidden diversity in a cosmopolitan group of lichens. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 20: 189–218.

Zhang Y, Wang XY, Li LJ, Printzen C, Timdal E, Yin AC, Wang SQ, Wang LS. 2020. Squamarina (lichenized fungi) species described from China belong to at least three unrelated genera. Mycokeys 66: 135–157.

Gemeinholzer B, Vences M, Beszteri B, Bruy T, Felden J, Kostadinov I, Miralles A, Nattkemper TW, Printzen C, Renz J, Rybalka N, Schuster T, Weibulat T, Wilke T,  Renner SS. 2020. Data storage and data re-use in taxonomy – transforming taxonomy into big data science. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 20: 1–8.

Bungartz F, Elix JA, Printzen C. 2020. Lecanoroid lichens in the Galapagos Islands: the genera Lecanora, Protoparmeliopsis, and Vainionora (Lecanoraceae, Lecanoromycetes). Phytotaxa 431(1): 1–85.


Yakovchenko L, Davydov E, Ohmura Y, Printzen C. 2019. The phylogenetic position of species of Lecanora s. l. containing calycin and usnic acid, with the description of Lecanora solaris Yakovchenko & Davydov sp. nov. Lichenologist 51: 147–156.


Grewe F, Lagostina E, Wu H, Printzen C, Lumbsch HT. 2018. Population genomic analyses of RAD sequences resolves the phylogenetic relationship of the lichen-forming fungal species Usnea antarctica and Usnea aurantiacoatra. Mycokeys 43: 91–113.

Tønsberg T, Printzen C. 2018. Biatora troendelagica new to North America from Alaska, USA. Graphis Scripta 30: 161–165.

Printzen C,  Cezanne R, Eichler M, Jørgensen PM, Teuber D. 2018. An unusual record of Vahliella atlantica from Central Europe. Graphis Scripta 30: 88–93.

Lagostina E, Dal Grande F, Andreev M, Printzen C. 2018. The use of microsatellite markers for species delimitation in Antarctic Usnea subgenus Neuropogon. Mycologia 110: 1047–1057.

Zamora JC, Svensson M, Kirschner R, Olariaga I, Ryman S, Parra LA; Geml J, Rosling A, … Printzen C, … Ekman S [412 authors]. 2018. Considerations and consequences of allowing DNA sequence data as types of fungal taxa. IMA Fungus 9: 167–175.


Lücking R, Moncada B, McCune B, Farkas E, Goffinet B, Parker D, Chaves JL, Lőkős L, Nelson PR, Spribille T, Stenroos S, Wheeler T, Yanez-Ayabaca A, Dillman K, Gockman OT, Goward T, Hollinger J, Tripp EA, Villella J, Álvaro-Alba WR, Arango CJ, Cáceres MES, Coca LF, Printzen C, Rodríguez C, Scharnagl K, Rozzi R, Soto-Medina E, Yakovchenko LS. 2017. Pseudocyphellaria crocata (Ascomycota: Lobariaceae) in the Americas is revealed to be thirteen species, and none of them is P. crocata. Bryologist 120: 441–500.

Lagostina E, Dal Grande F, Ott S, Printzen C. 2017. Fungus-specific SSR markers in the Antarctic lichens Usnea antarctica and U. aurantiacoatra (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). Applications in Plant Sciences 5(9): 1700054.

Printzen C, Blanchon DJ, Fryday AM, de Lange PJ, Houston DM, Rolfe JR. 2017. Lecanora kohu, a new species of Lecanora (lichenised Ascomycota: Lecanoraceae) from the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 55: 439–451.Lutsak T, Fernández-Mendoza F, Nadyeina O, Şenkardeşler A, Printzen C. 2017. Testing the correlation between norstictic acid content and species evolution in the Cetraria aculeata group in Europe. Lichenologist 49: 39–56.


Lutsak T, Fernández-Mendoza F, Greshake B, Dal Grande F, Ebersberger I, Ott S, Printzen C. 2016. Characterisation of microsatellite loci in the bipolar lichen-forming fungus Cetraria aculeata (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). Applications in Plant Sciences 4(9): 1600047.

Printzen C, Halda JP, McCarthy JW, Palice Z, Rodriguez Flakus P, Thor G, Tønsberg T, Vondrák J. 2016. Five new species of Biatora from four continents. Herzogia 29: 566–585.

Zhao X, Leavitt SD, Zhao ZT, Zhang LL, Arup U, Grube M, Pérez-Ortega S, Printzen C, Śliwa L, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Towards a revised generic classification of lecanoroid lichens (Lecanoraceae, Ascomycota) based on molecular, morphological and chemical evidence. Fungal Diversity 78: 293–304.

Lutsak T, Fernández-Mendoza F, Kirika P, Wondafrash M, Printzen C. 2016. Mycobiont-photobiont interactions of the lichen Cetraria aculeata in high alpine regions of East Africa and South America. Symbiosis 68: 25–37.

Heike Kappes
Technical Assistant Grunelius-Möllgaard Laboratory and DNA bank