The Culture Collection of Freshwater Microalgae (CCMA-UFSCar, Coleção de Culturas de Microalgas de Água-Doce), based at the Universidade Federal de São Carlos, plays an important role in underpinning Brazilian microalgal research, providing biological materials, substrates and training personnel for a large proportion of the past and current projects in this area. However, recent efforts to expand the culture catalogue/holdings have reached a ceiling because of the logistical practicality of maintaining actively growing cultures. In order to reduce the costs associated with the maintenance regime of cultures, efforts were initiated on the establishment of a cryopreserved biobank for long term maintenance of cultures, thus minimizing the efforts associated with handling of material, as successfully frozen cultures, in theory, could be maintained effectively indefinitely, with the advantage of the stability of cells characteristics. Initial tests were performed on 93 strains including exemplar taxa across the different taxonomic groups in the collection catalogue. The highest levels of success were achieved for the smaller taxa, such as the small green algae; while for the larger and more complex organisms limited to no success was obtained. For the strains tested, over 70% had positive good levels of post-thaw viability and regenerated phenotypically normal cultures.
- Cryopreservation; freshwater microalgae; biobank