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 have by far the 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).
Reasons for not accepting a strain (and not limited to):
Terms and Conditions of Marine Algal Strain Accession and Culling
Potential depositors must acknowledge and agree that accepting or not accepting a marine algal strain for accession into the marine algal strain collection maintained by the NCMA shall be within the sole and exclusive discretion of the NCMA.
Furthermore, the “culling” of marine algal strain(s) currently being stored/maintained by the NCMA is also within the sole and exclusive discretion of the NCMA.
However, in the spirit of professional scientific courtesy, the NCMA will use reasonable efforts to inform the original depositor of stored/maintained marine algal strain(s) of the NCMA’s “to-be-culled” decision.
If, within thirty (30) days of such notice, the NCMA has not received a reply from the original depositor that they wish to provide funding for other storage/maintenance arrangements, e.g., either within the NCMA or otherwise to prevent the culling, then the NCMA will cull (destroy) the stored/maintained marine algal strain(s).