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Challenges for the Maintenance and Cryopreservation of Multiple Isolates of Model Microorganisms: An Example Using the Marine Diatom Skeletonema marinoi

Journal article
Authors J. G. Day
Simon Tytor
Jenny Egardt
Monica Appelgren
C. Rad-Menendez
O. Chepurnova
W. Vyverman
Anna Godhe
Published in Biopreservation and Biobanking
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 191-202
ISSN 1947-5535
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 191-202
Language en
Keywords biobank, cryopreservation, culture collection, diatom, Skeletonema, genus skeletonema, encapsulation/dehydration protocol, genetic-structure, microalgae held, bacillariophyceae, algae, diversity, costatum, water, chlorophyta, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Medical Laboratory Technology
Subject categories Cell biology, Medical Laboratory Science, Chemical Sciences


Modern genomic and metabolomic tools have provided the possibility of generating and interrogating large datasets that can provide answers to previously imponderable taxonomic, evolutionary, ecological, and physiological questions. However, the curatorial tools needed to provide and maintain the relevant biological resources on which new knowledge can be built have not kept pace with this meteoric rise in scientific capacity, its associated activity, or the huge increase in published science. The availability of biological material of guaranteed identity and quality in Biological Resource Centers is fundamental for scientific research, but it crucially depends on there being adequate preservation/maintenance methods that are capable of ensuring phenotypic, genotypic, and functional security of the biological material(s). This article highlights the challenges to the long-term maintenance of genetic resources in general, focusing specifically on the issues associated with the maintenance of a large collection of strains of the ecologically significant diatom Skeletonema marinoi. This research collection, held at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, has been systematically tested for its capacity to survive cryopreservation. A method, involving incubation in the dark for 20-24 hours before cryopreservation, followed by cryoprotection employing 10% dimethysulphoxide (DMSO) and conventional cooling in a passive cooler, before plunging into liquid nitrogen was successfully applied to similar to 80% of the strains tested. In addition, the growth characteristics of exemplar strains were confirmed after storage.

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