The National Museum of Natural History Biorepository (NMNH) is a massive collection of cryogenically preserved, genomic-grade samples of the Earth’s diversity. It is a resource for scientists worldwide. Between the Biorepository and the pinned collection, the National Insect Collection at NMNH contains about 36 million specimens representing 450,000 species, and nearly 60% of known insect families.
USDA and NMNH have had a partnership since the late 1870s to collect, preserve, and study important insects, which allows both organizations to make the most of their resources.
Five Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia), from the first nest found in the United States, have taken a trip across the country to a Washington, D.C. area Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility and the Smithsonian for study and preservation. The researchers are plan to do fundamental population genetic studies to help establish the baseline genetic signature of nest zero.
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