Long term algae storage

Long term algae storage

Postby me2003 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:27 pm

I am researching and testing methods for storing algae long term. These are the four methods
I am looking at
1. Algae plates - Agar
2. Freezing Algae
3. Cold storage Algae
4. Algae beads
Has anyone tried plates or beads?

Algae beads looks the most promising. Sodium Alginate and Calcium Chloride are available. Some research indicates
you can store algae up to a year and at 4 C. These beads are used in pollution testing.
This website describes the process.
http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/pract ... ised-algae

Each process has tradeoffs. I have a my list of issues below and suggestions over improvements to methods or advantages/disadvantages
are encouraged.
1. Algae plates - Growing algae on plates and storing.
Used a lot. 6 month to 12 month storage.
Easy to store
Algae recipe/agar concentration needs further definition, Growing algae on plates not as easy as in culture.
2. Freezing Algae
Longest storage time.
Complex and requires expensive refrigerator.
3. Cold storage Algae
Not sure of protocol but not as reliable long term.
4. Algae beads
Easy to create
Use existing liquid culture to encapsulate.
Not as well defined need to research.
Don't know how to unencapsulate.
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Re: Long term algae storage

Postby BaboonScience » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:23 am

I do plates of several species of microalgae. I streak a strain onto the plate but you can thin a good culture with sterile water and it will store well. I first incubate for a couple of days. Then I wrap the edge of the plate with parafilm to seal tightly and refrigerate. They will stay viable for several months. Isochrysis is somewhat sensitive to cold storage but will still survive well.
Glass petri dishes are preferred because the plastic ones tend to dry out over several months. Agar can be found at most health food stores for a fraction of the price of supply houses. I mix about 4% agar into filtered salt water at a near boil. Pour the hot mix into a plate to about 1 cm deep. Let cool and spread a couple mils of sterile weak mixed f/2 over the cool plate (mixed as you would in a standard culture). The agar will adsorb that small amount of liquid. Once the liquid is adsorbed, the plate is ready for streaking. Streak and invert. When you see the culture start to develop, seal and store in a refrigerator or in a dark cool place. Should be good for several months. When yo want to use, slowly warm if in the fridge. Then lace inverted back in the light. When resumed growth is noticed, it is ready to inoculate your culture bottles.
Agar slants in test tubes are done in a similar fashion.
Hope this helps.
"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth" Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696)
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