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 NCMA "Adopt-A-Strain" Program

The National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) is the largest, most diverse collection of marine algae in the world.  Nearly 3,000 strains are carefully maintained and over 2000 strains are shipped to our customers all over the world every year.  The dedicated team of curators grows most of the strains in temperature-controlled, illuminated growth chambers at four different temperatures with four replicates of each strain to ensure multiple on-site and off-site back up.  The cultures are housed in a modern and secure, state-of-the-art facility within Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and are monitored 24/7 with electronic- and radio-transmitted security systems.

As part of the collection management plan, a cull policy has been implemented to sustain the vitality of the collection while maintaining its diversity.  The cull process will reduce the current algal collection by about 20% without any loss of taxonomic diversity, geographical/ecological range, or scientific relevance. The goal is too free up resources to allow the NCMA to actively access new and potentially interesting strains.  The cull process will be guided by the criteria outlined in the NCMA cull policy.

The NCMA greatly respects the algal community and supporters of the collection.  We are now offering the Adopt-A-Strain program to allow fellow algae lovers to preserve their favorite strain.

 What does ‘adopting’ a strain mean?

Adopting a CCMP strain means that the strain will be exempt from the NCMA cull policy and will remain a part of the public NCMA collection.  This program was developed as a mechanism for the broader community to support the collection.

What do you get when you Adopt-A-Strain?

  • An adoption certificate with strain information, photo and map of collection site (if available)
  • One free starter culture of the adopted strain (shipping and a $50 handling fee not included)
  • An invitation to tour the state-of-the-art NCMA facility
  • A complimentary “Got Algae?” bumper sticker

How does the adoption work?

  1. A list of strains to be culled will be posted on the News Page of the NCMA website and emailed to our customer database.  A 30-day period will be available to individuals, companies, universities, associations, schools, etc. to Adopt-A-Strain.
  2. Contact the NCMA through our online form.   Choose Adopt-A-Strain from the "Nature of the Inquiry?" dropdown list and include the CCMP strain number that you would like to adopt.
  3. For only $9.99/mo. the strain will continue to be part of the NCMA public collection and will not be culled.
  4. Adopt-A-Strain payments must be made via the NCMA website subscription service. 
  5. The Adopt-A-Strain program is for a period of 12 months.  At the end of the 12-month term you will have the option to renew the adoption.
  6. If payment is not received within 30 days of the adoption the CCMP strain will be added back to the cull list.
  7. An individual may adopt multiple CCMP strains and multiple individuals may adopt one CCMP strain.


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