NCMA’s Vision: By 2020, the NCMA will become an instantly recognizable, trusted global leader in the provision of algae, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses, together with related products for academic researchers, corporations, and commercial ventures, and be widely recognized for comprehensive, first class customer service and intellectual capability.
NCMA’s Mission is to serve as a central bioresource center whose core activity is to receive, maintain, and distribute living cultures of marine and freshwater algae, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses; to provide technical expertise and services; and to provide educational resources for culture isolation and curation to scientists, educators, biomedical researchers, and businesses worldwide.
NCMA’s Status is a service center of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (www.bigelow.org), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization conducting research ranging from microbial oceanography to large-scale ocean processes that affect the global environment. Income derived from federal grants, culture fees, and services supports the functions of NCMA’s mission. The U.S. Congress has designated the NCMA as the official phytoplankton collection for the nation. NCMA recently relocated to the Norton Center for Blue Biotechnology (NCBB) on the Bigelow Laboratory’s new Ocean Science and Education Campus.
We also offer consultancy services for the following:
The NCMA welcomes the deposition of new strains. We are especially interested in new strains that meet the following criteria:
The strain should be identified to the species level, and should be devoid of protozoa, fungi and other algae. Depositions should include information regarding collection (site, environmental/ecological data, date and
collector), isolation information, identification (who identified the strain), known properties (e.g., toxicity, bioluminescence, pigments), and growth conditions (culture medium, temperature, salinity, etc.).
To see our policy on type material, please go to the following page:
All algal strains will be given a CCMP number. Strains deposited in the NCMA are available to the public, and they cannot be withdrawn from the collection by the depositor. To deposit a strain, please contact [email protected].
In addition to deposits in the Public collection, we also accept Private Collections deposits for companies and individuals. The NCMA holds private collections of algae and bacteria for off-site redundant storage, risk management plans, and/or curation of your company’s valuable biological strains. Algal strains will be kept perpetually cultured in liquid medium in the extensive pre-existing conditions of the NCMA and/or cryopreserved, which is the preferred option when possible, depending on depositors' preferences. All private collections are completely confidential and made available only to the depositor, unless specified in writing that a third party should be allowed access to a strain(s). Private strains are not displayed on our public website. Secure login to a personal ‘My Accounts’ page is provided and contains information about your private collection strains, including how to order subcultures of your strains, through our website. Depositor subscriptions also can be viewed on the ‘My Account’ page by clicking the ‘My Subscription’ link on the sidebar. Annual fees are paid directly through the website.
The NCMA holds private collections of algae and bacteria for off-site redundant storage, risk management plans, and/or curation of your company’s valuable biological strains. Algal strains will be kept perpetually cultured in liquid medium in the extensive pre-existing conditions of the NCMA and/or cryopreserved, which is the preferred option when possible, depending on depositors' preferences. All private collections are completely confidential and made available only to the depositor, unless specified in writing that a third party should be allowed access to a strain(s). Private strains are not displayed on our public website. Secure login to a personal ‘My Accounts’ page is provided and contains information about your private collection strains, including how to order subcultures of your strains, through our website. Depositor subscriptions also can be viewed on the ‘My Account’ page by clicking the ‘My Subscription’ link on the sidebar. Annual fees are paid directly through the website.
Deposit your Private Collection:
Prior to shipping, those wishing to deposit a private strain must submit a private collection form for each strain to be shipped and become familiar with our Terms and Conditions. Depositor's are responsible for the cost of shipping the cultures to the NCMA at the address listed below. When strains are received, the NCMA curator checks them for obvious contamination and confirms the organism matches the description provided by the customer. Strains with obvious fungal contamination are not accepted for perpetual culturing or cryopreservation. For this initial assessment, a one-time fee of $50/strain is required before shipment of the strain(s). If the strain passes this initial assessment, it will be handled as stated in the Private Collection deposit form and as agreed to by the customer and the NCMA for the stated term of the agreement. Customers will be billed, based upon the requested deposit option, upon NCMA's acceptance of the strains in the Private Collection.
Private Collection holding options for algal strains include:
A) Maintenance of perpetual liquid culture: $1,000/strain/year when the strain can be grown at standard NCMA conditions (Incubators at 2 ºC, 14 ºC, 20 ºC, and 24 ºC. Light :dark cycle is 13:11). Our media are listed on our website.
B) Storage in LN2 vapor of previously cryopreserved material shipped to the NCMA on dry ice: $350/strain/year (no check on cell viability is conducted by the NCMA)
C) Cryopreservation of a liquid culture conducted by the NCMA: $1,000/strain/first year and a storage fee of $350/year for each subsequent year. Feasibility of cryopreservation will be discussed with the customer. If it is decided to cryopreserve a private strain, the NCMA will choose a protocol based on its experience. Ten vials will be cryopreserved, and an additional three will be cryopreserved to be used to test for the viability of the cryopreservation. Viability test vials will be thawed upon the completion of each protocol and re-growth will be monitored. The NCMA will prepare a complete report of protocols used and results obtained for the depositor. NCMA is willing to continue additional cryopreservation protocols with any species, as long as the customer understands the feasibility of success. Additional attempts will be treated as a ‘research project’ and billed on a time and materials basis. Details are provided in our cryopreservation strategy.
Returning Private Collection strains to their depositor:
Private strains should be ordered from the depositors secure website. Once the request has been made, the NCMA will start the process of sub-culturing, or thawing and obtaining dry ice, depending on the state of the culture. Growing material can take one to four weeks depending on the strain. The depositors account status must be in good standing at the time of the request.
The cost structure is as follows:
If the strain is maintained in liquid culture only, the NCMA will ship it to the depositor, a $50.00 handling fee will be applied per strain requested, one time per annual billing cycle. The customer is responsible for shipping. Any additional requested shipments in the same billing cycle are at the standard NCMA starter culture rate.
If the strain is cryopreserved, and the depositor wishes the NCMA to thaw it, grow it, and ship it to them, the NCMA will ship it to the depositor, a $50.00 handling fee will be applied per strain requested, once per annual billing cycle. The customer is responsible for shipping. Additional shipments in the same annual billing cycle are at the standard NCMA starter culture rate.
If the strain is cryopreserved, and the depositor wishes to receive frozen material, the NCMA will ship up to five (5) vials of cryopreserved material per year. There will be a $50.00 handling fee per strain per shipment. There will be an additional fee for dry ice of $5/pound. The customer is responsible for shipping charges. Once five (5) vials of cryopreserved material are shipped the customer will be notified. If the customer wishes to continue to maintain material at the NCMA, two options are available; Option B if the material was provided in a cryopreserved state originally, Option C if NCMA conducted the cryopreservation. In this case, the remaining five (5) vials are used as “seed” vials for the subsequent round of cryopreservation. Further details on the NCMA cryopreservation strategy can be found here.
To deposit a strain to a private collection, please review the NCMA Private Collection terms and conditions.
Algal Culture Sales and Support Services
Part of the NCMA core mission is to receive and curate algae that are interesting or valuable to the scientific, educational and business communities. The NCMA maintains the largest and most diverse collection of publically available marine algal strains in the world. The algal strains in the collection have been obtained from all over the world, from polar to tropical waters, marine, freshwater, brackish, and hyper-saline environments. New strains (50 - 100 per year) are added largely through the accession of strains deposited by scientists in the community. A stringent accession policy is required to help populate the collection with a diverse range of strains.
Our accession decision matrix focuses on increasing taxonomic, geographic, and ecological strain diversity; reducing redundancy in the core collection (i.e. avoiding multiple strains of the same species unless a good reason is presented), accepting strains that are easy to cryopreserve (inexpensive to maintain), have been published, or have had their genomes/transcriptomes sequenced will always be a priority. The NCMA has implemented a cryopreservation program, and we havethe largest collection of cryopreserved marine algae in the world. As of September 9, 2013, we have 1,698 cryopreserved algal strains maintained only in liquid nitrogen (vapor phase), and we have 181 of the most popular strains successfully cryopreserved that are also maintained as perpetually transferred strains (since they are ordered so frequently).
All of these cultures are available for sale as well as a wide range of support services such as standard and custom media preparations and DNA/RNA preparations from cultures.
The National Collection of Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) was originally started 40 years ago to serve the aquaculture industry. We maintain all the phytoplankton strains commonly used in aquaculture and can provide them to you, for a cost, at any volume from 20mls to 20L or more. Please visit our website at https://ncma.bigelow.org/ or contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.
The NCMA holds private collections of algae and bacteria for off-site redundant storage, risk management plans, and/or curation of your company’s valuable biological strains. Algal strains will be kept perpetually cultured in liquid medium in the extensive pre-existing conditions of the NCMA and/or cryopreserved, which is the preferred option when possible, depending on depositors' preferences. All private collections are completely confidential and made available only to the depositor, unless specified in writing that a third party should be allowed access to a strain(s).
The NCMA is recognized by the World Intellectual Property Office and an International Deposit Authority for Patent Process under the Budapest Treaty. We can accept for patent process, micro-algae, non-pathogenic microorganisms (including livestock microbiomes), macro-algae and plant callus tissue. Please click on the following link for additional information:
Marine Bacterial Strains
NCMA, in addition to algae, hold a growing collection of marine bacterial. These strains come from a wide range of natural and aquaculture environments. These organisms can be searched for on our website (http://ncma.bigelow.org). The nomenclature we use for our bacterial cultures is somewhat different than that of our algal strains, each strain is identified by "NCMA B###". All cultures, as for our algal cultures can be ordered through our website.
We also offer consultancy services for the following:
Commission NCMA to isolate new strains for proprietary use by your company. We have in-house experience for isolating and characterizing new strains from either i) samples sent to NCMA from locations of your choice, or ii) samples collected by NCMA staff from a range of locations. Please contact us with details on the isolation project and we will provide you with an estimate based on time and meterials. A NDA can be executed by both parties prior to detailed discussions if requested by the customer.
The ID service is geared towards the customer needs. We can start with a basic microscopic analysis to get a provisional morphological ID (this is easier for the larger microalgae). COST $175/strain
For MIXED cultures, we can conduct a basic microscopic analysis and determine relative proportions of obvious different species in the culture. COST $225/strain
A firmer ID can be obtained from 18S rRNA gene analysis (COST $750/strain), but we would typically recommend a 3-gene screen (18S rRNA; ITS and COX or 28S), this will give an ID to species level with high confidence - taxonomists prefer this level of confidence. COST $1500/strain.
For MIXED cultures there are different options for molecular analysis:
18S rRNA PCR; TA-cloning; sequence analysis of 96 clones COST $2,500/culture
Grow cells from a culture on plate (assuming they can grow on a plate); pick individual colonies; 18S rRNA gene analysis of different colonies. COST $500/colony (minimum 10 colonies).
Flow cytometry sorting of individual cultures; downstream 18S rRNA gene analysis of sorted cells. Cost $3000/culture
We can probably develop a diagnostic service for you based on a technique called Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP); we did this for a customer last year. It would involve some basic characterization of the strains you have, then we would essentially have a diagnostic test for your cultures. High set up cost (approx. $5000) then relatively cheap quantitative analysis ($500/sample).
The NCMA sells products of 1L volumes of cultures and harvested cells from 20L volumes of biomass. We have the ability to scale up to 2400L volumes and supply an algal paste.
CULTURE CLEAN UP
Commission the NCMA to clean up algal cultures contaminated with either: non-algal protists; other algae; bacteria; fungi (prices will vary based on time spent and materials used)
Plating, dilution and/or antibiotic techniques charged at $175/hour plus materials
Flow cytometry sorting techniques starting at $800/culture plus materials.
Deposit for the purposes of patent procedure
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has designated the NCMA as an International Depositary Authority (IDA) for the deposit of biological material for the purposes of patent procedure under the Budapest Treaty. Deposits may be any algae (including single-celled microalgae and multicellular algae), eukaryotic protists, bacteria, archaea or viruses from any aquatic environments (including freshwater, brackish, marine and hyper-saline).
Schedule of fees:
Storage - Please e-mail us at [email protected] for the following prices:
$3,000 for frozen or lyophilized for 30 years (including viability statement)
$25,000 for perpetual culturing for 30 years (including viability statement)
Additional Viability Statement Fee
Furnishing of Microorganism Fee
Having received and accepted a microorganism for deposit, the NCMA will issue an official receipt in respect of that deposit. A viability statement will also be furnished to the depositor.
Customers will be billed upon acceptance of the deposit. Payment must be received by the NCMA prior to shipment of the sample.
To deposit a strain for the purpose of patent procedure, please review the NCMA Patent Deposit Terms and Conditions, fill out the patent deposit form (https://ncma.bigelow.org/media/wysiwyg//Patent_deposit/2015_NCMA_BP_1_fillable_.PDF) and email the completed form to [email protected].
National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota has not received any reviews.
National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota has not received any endorsements.