The UCR Nematode Collection, established in 1956, comprises ~370,000 mounted specimens and thousands of original types. Worldwide, it is among the two or three largest and most important collections to the discipline of nematology. Metrics for the impact of the collection during the past five years include providing key and specific infrastructure for about $6,000,000 (including subcontracts) in extramural funding research, primarily in biodiversity, systematics and phylogenetics. In addition to supporting UCR researchers the collection has a solid track record of attracting graduate students, visitors, types and vouchers worldwide and for supporting undergraduate and graduate research. It is the basis for international NSF-supported summer workshops at UCR (in 2011 at capacity with students from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, China, Germany, Canada and Nigeria) as well as international workshops (most recently) given in Belgium, Mexico and Brazil. Tools developed through the collection support teaching nematology worldwide. The collection supports UCR courses in (Biol 151, 157, SWSC 120), and introduction to nematode classes (Biol 159, Nem 205) as well as graduate classes in agriculture (e.g. Plant Pathology 206).
The UCR Citrus Variety Collection, initiated in 1910 for the UC Citrus Experiment Station, is now one of the most extensive living collections of citrus diversity globally, encompassing approximately 4500 trees representing more than 1,000 accessions of citrus and citrus relatives. The collection preserves and sustains biodiversity of citrus and citrus relatives and is used widely for research and to extend knowledge on Citrus and other genera in the Aurantiodeae. As a resource for the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the collection is utilized by a number of research and extension faculties at UCR from multiple departments. Research funding to T. Kahn and M. Roose in 2011-2012 from the California Citrus Research Board and USDA Specific Cooperative Agreements for projects that utilize the collection generated over $485,000. In addition the collection serves as the field planting for the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates that is situated adjacent to the collection. These utilize the collection to fulfill their missions and as a source of budwood, seed and pollen. Each year the collection is used as a resource for outreach through field days such as the UCR Citrus Day. Last January, numerous tours for citrus growers, industry representatives, and governmental agencies such as 100 or so CDFA inspectors visited to learn about citrus relative host plants for Asian Citrus Psyllid, a new vector of the deadly citrus disease, Huanglongbing. Members of the public with groups such as the CA Rare Fruit Society, the UC Master Gardener program and UCR students as part of class tours (BPSC 011, BPSC021, BPSC 150) also visit the collection each year. The Citrus Variety Collection currently has two UCR Foundation endowed funds (Citrus Variety Collection Endowed Funds and Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection Endowed Fund) with a collective value of approximately $650,000.
The Earth Sciences Museum currently houses more than 120,000 catalogued fossils, rocks, and minerals, in addition to multiple uncatalogued bulk samples. Our specimens range in age from Archean rocks and Proterozoic fossils, to shells, sediments, and volcanic rocks deposited within the past thousand years. While our specimens come from all over the world, including Antarctica, the majority of our collections represent the geologic history of the western U.S., particularly southern California. Scientists from all over the world have used our specimens to conduct research and our own faculty and students regularly borrow specimens for teaching, outreach, and research.
In addition to the collections, our museum maintains several exhibits pertaining to earth and planetary sciences, particularly focusing on topics relevant to faculty research and the strengths of our specimen collections. These exhibits line the hallways of the first floor of the Geology building and the second floor of Pierce Hall, and can be visited for free whenever the campus is open.
The UCR Entomology Research Museum is the second oldest UC collection of insects and other arthropods and contains ~3 million curated specimens, making it one of the 10 largest University-based collections in North America. Of special importance is the unique collection of voucher specimens for biological control projects conducted in California since the early 1900s. Worldwide, it is among a few of the most important collections of such economically important groups as bees and wasps and natural enemies of agricultural pests. The ERM also served as a depository for the voucher specimens of the arthropod colonies in the UCR Insectary and Quarantine Facility. During the past five years the museum personnel and affiliated faculty have received over 3.5 million dollars in extramural funding research, primarily in biodiversity, taxonomy and phylogenetics besides the more than $800,000 in direct extramural funding for the projects conducted in the museum. The collection provides specimens for graduate and undergraduate students, attracts visitors and the public, and provides vigorous loan service to researchers worldwide. Hundreds of scientific publications were based on the specimens from this collection. The ERM also houses large teaching and outreach collections and supports several undergraduate (General Entomology, Aquatic Insects, Insect Biodiversity, Insect Evolution, Field Entomology) and graduate (Entomophagous Insects) courses in Entomology.
The UCR Herbarium houses over 259,000 specimens of vascular plants and lichens and is the 5th largest herbarium in California (just ahead of San Diego Natural History Museum and right behind UC Davis). It also is linked to UCR's fungus collection (c. 10,000 specimens, housed in Plant Pathology). The UCR Herbarium makes thousands of identifications each year and is an active resource in teaching and research at UCR as well as nationally and internationally. Funds generated for higher plant and lichen research total $20,000 to $40,000 annually, raised from Federal, State and private agencies, including developers. The herbarium is important for teaching and research in biology, plant biology, entomology and other CNAS and CHASS disciplines. Many Cooperative Extension personnel and private citizens use the collection to identify invasive weeds, escaped garden plants, etc. There are relatively few K thru 12 visitors.
The UCR Botanic Gardens is located on the eastern edge of the UCR campus and provides a nature oasis in the urban Inland Empire. Its mission is to serve as a focal point for campus and community engagement in nature, gardens and conservation. The UCR Botanic Gardens is a 40-acre living plant museum with more than 3,500 plant species and thousands of specimens from around the world, with a focus on plants from Mediterranean climate (dry summer) and arid lands similar to California and the desert southwestern US. As a part of the UC Riverside campus, the Botanic Gardens is utilized for teaching, research, and demonstration purposes, as well as for enjoyment and appreciation of nature. The Gardens are a resource for UCR, local colleges, and high school teaching and research projects, and also offer a docent-led tour program for thousands of K-12 school children each year. Numerous engagement activities are offered at the Gardens each year including plant sales, classes and workshops, tours and walks, and an annual fundraiser. The Gardens are supported by an active Friends of the Botanic Gardens membership group and hundreds of volunteers from the campus and community.
Explore More UCR Biological Collections
UCR has an astounding, but sometimes underappreciated, range of natural history collections, approaching 4 million specimens. Infrastructure to UCR provided by the collections has been leveraged in a number of projects to UCR faculty resulting in over ten million dollars in federal grants and private donations over the past five years. In addition to the six main UCR collections, the following also have a significant impact on supporting and extending UCR research, teaching, and outreach:
The UCR World Phytophthora Collection curates more than 6500 living (in liquid N2) isolates including about 90 species/types collected worldwide from a wide range of hosts. Phytophthora includes an array of some of the most destructive agricultural pathogens and provides an important resource and voucher repository in support of worldwide research on this group. At UCR the collection is an important resource for teaching and investigation, including undergraduate research. Support for the collection has included competitive USDA grants. https://phytophthora.ucr.edu/
The UCR Avocado Germplasm Collections maintain two collections of avocado germplasm, located at the South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, CA. One of these collections focuses on horticultural varieties and their utilization in the UCR avocado-breeding program. The second collection emphasizes related species and genera that may be of value in other types of research and in development of avocado rootstocks. The collections together total several hundred selections. http://ucavo.ucr.edu/
The UCR Wheat Germplasm Collection: was started to study wheat evolution and consists of 2,000+ wild wheats, relatives, and primitive landraces from the Mediterranean and Middle East countries. Started in the 1970s, it was for many years a major source of wheat germplasm for disease resistance, but has now largely been duplicated by the USDA Germplasm Collection at Aberdeen ID, the Wheat Genetic Stocks collection at Manhattan, KS and by CIMMYT, Mexico. More recent collections from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Armenia are duplicated at ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria. Funding support comes from RASP and sometimes federal or California Wheat Commission funds. Increased interest in the collection is expected since NSF and USDA granting agencies are now interested in root characters as a way to increase water and nutrient uptake and ultimately increase grain yield. For the last 100 years these agencies have largely neglected crop root characters and the genes that control them. The collection helps train undergraduate and graduate students in germplasm biodiversity, root genetics and plant breeding.
Wheat Cytogenetics Aneuploid Stocks
The UCR Wheat Cytogenetics Aneuploid Stocks Collection: is allied with the Wheat Germplasm Collection and numbers an additional 8,000 genetic stocks. It includes the classical wheat chromosome aneuploidy stocks made by Dr. E.R. Sears (USDA, Columbia MO) and more recent cytogenetic constructs in CIMMYT wheats made by Adam Lukaszewski. He is now the world keeper of Sears’ collection since the USDA discontinued curation in Missouri. It is often used by molecular geneticists for specific chromosome arms for chromosome sorting and molecular mapping. In addition, Adam has several thousand recombinant inbred lines and doubled haploid combinations of specific F1 hybrids also used in molecular mapping. Funding comes from RASP, and for other turf genera constructs from the Turfgrass program. The collection is used to train undergraduate and graduate students in grass genetics and drought physiology. The collection is heavily used by grass scientists around the world.