Major Microalgal Culture Collections

Major Microalgal Culture Collections

Culture strains of cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae, protozoa and endangered algae are maintained in the Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES Collection).
These strains are available for educational, research and developmental purposes.

NIES Collection accepts the deposition of strains, which are important for environmental as well as basic and applied researches.


National Institute for Environmental Studies
16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, JAPAN
Phone : +81-29-850-2556

Fax : +81-29-850-2587


The Canadian Center for the Culture of Microorganisms (CCCM) maintains living specimens of marine phytoplankton, freshwater microalgae and fungal isolates for research, teaching and commercial use.  

We are a non-profit facility supported by the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia. Our facility arose from the amalgamation of three living collections.



Centric Diatom - Valve view The North East Pacific Culture Collection (NEPCC) is a living collection of marine microalgae containing several hundred isolates with representatives from all of the major algal groups. 

> Browse the NEPCC Catalog

> Ordering Cultures [Prices, Shipping, Conditions]

> Culturing Information [Medium recipes, Culturing tips]

> History of the NEPCC

Oscillatoria filaments The Freshwater Algal Culture Collection (FWAC) consists of approximately 60 unialgal cultures, largely Chlorophyceae and Cyanophyceae, Xanthophyceae, Euglenophyceae and Chrysophyceae.  

> Browse the Freshwater Algal Culture Collection Catalog

> Ordering Cultures [Prices, Shipping, Conditions]

> Culturing Information [Medium recipes, Culturing tips]

> History of the Freshwater Algal Collection


Mushroom Gills The Fungal Collection of Dr. Robert Bandoni, Emeritus Professor of Botany at UBC, contains hundreds of strains of fungi and yeast, many of which are unique to the CCCM. 

An online version of the Fungal Collection Catalog is not available at this time. Fungal strains are available, however. Please contact the CCCM Curator for further information.



The CCMP is the national marine phytoplankton collection, and it is an integral part of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. The CCMP maintains over 2500 strains from around the world, the preponderance are marine phytoplankters but we also have benthic, macrophytic, freshwater and heterotrophic organisms.

You can search our online catalog for strains using taxonomic, geographic and other parameters. Strain records have (when available):

–    collection and isolation information
–    culturing medium recipes and growth conditions
–   photographs
–    GenBank accession link
–    collection site map
–    link to the taxonomic database Microscope


The CCMP offers a course in phytoplankton culturing techniques and facilities for visiting scientists are available at our laboratories in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.


The Cawthron Institute Culture Collection of Micro-Algae is a nationally significant living collection which contains nine classes of micro-algae. Several species are unique to New Zealand or have properties not found in overseas isolates;

1. The collection is the only one of its kind in New Zealand, and highly ranked in the Asia-Pacific region, where it is a member of the Asia Oceania Algae Collection network.
2. The collection underpins many of Cawthron’s research programmes and is also crucial to understanding harmful algae blooms (HABs) identified as a major risk to the shellfish industry. Many strains are now backed up by cyropreservation.
3. The collection supports identification of algae in routine water samples giving industry and public health regulators advance warning of HABs. This has recently been extended to include fresh water bodies that may be contaminated by cyanobacteria.
4. Many of the micro-algae marine biotoxins that have been mass produced for the development of reference standards for regulatory authorities. Examples of the toxins produced by micro-algae in the collection include neurotoxins and diarrhetic toxics such as: 

– saxitoxin
– domoic acid
– palytoxin
– okadaic acid

5. The collection houses micro-algae with the capability to produce valuable bioactive compounds and some of these have only been identified and isolated from New Zealand waters. Pharmaceutical, nutriceutical and agricultural/horticultural uses of these compounds are being investigated.

The micro-algae may be purchased via the Cawthron Collection Curator ( Krystyna Ponikla)

Collection catalogue [PDF 538kb]