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Isolation and Identification


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.


Taxonomic Identification

  • $175/strain:  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).
  • $225/strain:  For MIXED cultures, we can conduct a basic microscopic analysis and determine relative proportions of obvious different species in the culture.
  • A firmer ID can be obtained from 18S rRNA gene analysis of $750/strain.  However, we would typically recommend a 3-gene screen (18S rRNA; ITS and COX or 28S) of $1,500/strain.  This will give an ID to species level with high confidence - taxonomists prefer this level of confidence.
  • For MIXED cultures there are different options for molecular analysis:
    1. $2,500/culture:  18S rRNA PCR; TA-cloning; sequence analysis of 96 clones.
    2. $500/colony (minimum 10 colonies):  Grow cells from a culture on plate (assuming they can grow on a plate); pick individual colonies; 18S rRNA gene analysis of different colonies.
    3. $3000/culture:  Flow cytometry sorting of individual cultures; downstream 18S rRNA gene analysis of sorted cells.
    4. 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. $5,000) then relatively cheap quantitative analysis ($500/sample).


Mass Culturing

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)

  1. Plating, dilution and/or antibiotic techniques charged at $175/hour plus materials
  2. Flow cytometry sorting techniques starting at $800/culture plus materials.


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