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Welcome to the ARS Culture Collection (NRRL)

Our Policies and Procedures

Open Collection Policy (Strain Requests)

Requests should be made via email to the Collection Manager using the NRRL Order Form, linked below. University Request must be by and mailed to the Professor (PI) of your Department. Inquiries regarding strains not found on the catalogs should be made by e-mail and should include the accession number, if known, and the Genus/species of the organism. Plant (APHIS PPQ 526) and Animal pathogen (APHIS VS 16-3) strains require permit included in email of order.

Patent Collection Policy (Strain Requests)

Strains in the Patent Collection are not available on the strains catalogs. To request a patent strain, the Recipient Scientist (PI for Universities) must email us a digitally signed letter of request on your institution's letterhead stating the NRRL # and the Genus/species for the strain(s), along with a prepaid shipping label. There is a charge of $40.00 for each strain requested. If your institution requires a PO# on invoice, please include in your letter. We will send an invoice for payment via email, once the strain(s) have departed to shipping. If you are not sure if the strain(s) are in the open or patent collection, email us.

Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)

MTA's are only required for Risk Group (RG2) strains from the NRRL Culture Collection. The MTA will be initiated by an email from the Collection Manager after your order is placed. The MTA will need to be signed by the Recipient Scientist ordering the strain(s) and your Biosafety Officer/Tech Transfer Office. Fed-Ex is the only authorized carrier for RG2 strains from the NRRL Culture Collection. Please only have Fed-Ex label with order if ordering RG2 strain(s).

Open Collection Policy (Strain Deposits)

Requests for deposition of strains into the ARS Open Culture Collection must be made to the Collection Manager in advance of shipment of culture materials. This must be done to ensure the Collection will be able to cultivate the microorganism(s), is willing to accept the proposed deposit, and has the appropriate APHIS permits, when necessary.

Patent Collection Policy (Strain Deposits)

We accept Bacteria and Fungi for deposit for patent protection under the Budapest Treaty. Requests for deposition of strains into the ARS Patent Culture Collection must be made to the Collection Manager in advance of shipment of culture materials via email of completed Deposit Form(s). A deposit form for each strain must be completed and sent with the cultures. There is a charge of $670.00 per patent strain deposited in the patent collection. Payment will be invoiced via email after Viability Checks of Strain(s)are complete.

Acknowledging the NRRL

The ARS Culture Collection is funded by the USDA-ARS and is therefore able to distribute and accession microbial strains at no charge to the scientific community. It is important for the culture collection to track and document the impact of our work and the microbial strains we distribute in our annual reports to ensure continued funding. We request that recipients acknowledge the contribution of the ARS Culture Collection to any work using microorganisms from the culture collection by including the following text “Microbial strains used in this work were provided by the USDA-ARS Culture Collection (NRRL)”

Open Collection Policy (Strain Fees/Limit Policy)

All strains from the Open Collection are free of charge, excluding postage and customs fees. Requests must be limited to 24 strains per request, and may total no more than 24 strains to a given laboratory/ department on an annual basis. (24 strains per any 12 month period). Inquiries regarding obtaining more strains than the annual limit should be directed to the Collection Manager well in advance of a request.

Shipping Cost/Procedures

Requests must attach an electronic image (PDF) of a prepaid shipping label for a 1 lb (0.5 kg) padded envelope (8.5" x 11"). US Carriers - Fed Ex, UPS, USPS. We only ship to academic and business addresses. All international orders use Fed Ex, UPS(no UPS SAVER) or DHL. We can not accept account #'s. All orders without proper shipping label will be canceled.

Shipping From:

Collection Manager
ARS Culture Collection (NRRL)

1815 N. University Street
Peoria, IL 61604
Phone: (309) 681-6398