Since 1986, DTP has acquired plants and marine organisms through collection contracts performed in over 25 tropical and subtropical countries worldwide. As of September, 1999, over 50,000 plant samples have been collected in Africa and Madagascar, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia through contracts with the Missouri Botanical Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, assisted by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. During the same period over 10,000 marine invertebrates and marine algae have been collected, mainly from the Indo-Pacific region, through contracts with the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and the Coral Reef Research Foundation. Plant collections in Africa and Madagascar, and in Southeast Asia, are continuing through contracts with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the University of Illinois at Chicago, respectively, and collections in the continental United States were started in September, 1996, through a contract with the Morton Arboretum. The marine collection contract with the Coral Reef Foundation was renewed in February, 1997. In undertaking these collections, NCI has committed itself to the conservation of biological diversity, as well as to policies of fair and equitable collaboration and compensation in interacting with the Source Countries participating in the collection programs. Agreements based on the NCI Letter of Collection have been signed with relevant government organizations in many of the source countries participating in the collection program.
Each organism is extracted in the Natural Products Extraction Laboratory with a 1:1 mixture of dichloromethane and methanol, and then with water, and the extracts are stored at -200C in the Natural Products Repository. Both these facilities are operated by SAIC at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research under contract to the NCI. Both extracts are tested in the NCI cancer cell line screen.
Access To The Natural Products Repository
NCI considers the Natural Products Repository as a national resource, and extracts from the Repository are available either in vials or in 96 well plates for distribution to qualified organizations through the Open Repository Program and the Active Repository Program. Access to these programs will be subject to signing a Material Transfer Agreement protecting the rights of all parties (see Conditions of Access to Active and Open Repositories).