Welcome to the ARS Culture Collection (NRRL) - FAQ
- How do I choose a strain?
- How are cultures packaged?
- What do I do when my strain cultures arrive?
- My cultures were dead on arrival, can I get replacements?
- Some of my cultures will take longer to grow than others, can I get multiple shipments?
- I am going to need cultures in a few months, can I order them now?
1. How do I choose a strain?
You may have a specific need when ordering a strain- perhaps a geographic need, or wish to chose an NRRL strain or one that has a publication record.
We are currently developing a better searchable parameter on our website.
2. How are cultures packaged?
Starter cultures are shipped in sealed tubes or slants, which are then wrapped in bubble wrapped and placed in a Styrofoam box. The Styrofoam box is placed in an outer cardboard box which is then place in a padded envelope for shipment.
3. What do I do when my strain cultures arrive?
a. Read the enclosed strain information sheet. This sheet has information regarding culture medium and culture temperature. b. Place your strain culture at the appropriate temperature and in subdued light for 12 hours or so to allow it to stabilize. Then remove about half the biomass that was sent from each tube and place that in fresh medium. Inoculate into a small volume medium (a ratio of 5-10 mls of culture to 100mls of medium is a good place to start). Retain the unused part of your cultures until you are certain that you have the strain growing in your medium c. At that time, examine your culture with a light microscope. Check for intact cells, and, where appropriate, swimming cells. d. Move, in a day or so, to appropriate light levels. e. Watch your newly transferred material over the next several weeks to see if it grows in your medium.
4. My cultures were dead on arrival, can I get replacements?
We will replace/reship cultures that arrive in a completely unviable state (dead). However we must be notified that it did not survive within a two weeks of delivery.
Before we make arrangements for a reshipment, we need to have the following questions answered so that we may have more success at you receiving your strains alive. please send us an email with your order number referenced, the strain numbers listed, and your answers to the questions below:
a. Can you tell us what the temperatures were when you received them? Could they have overheated or frozen in transit or while sitting on a loading dock? Are you aware of any delay in delivery of the strain?
b. Can you tell us what you did with them upon arrival?
c. Did you examine them with a microscope when you received them?
d. Please tell us what medium, temperature and light conditions you are using to grow the culture.
e. When did you subculture them?
f. Can you provide us with the specifics of the media you used?
g. What was the salinity of the media?
5. Some of my cultures will take longer to grow than others, can I get multiple shipments?
Yes, however, you will need to pay full shipping and handling fees for each separate shipment.
6. I am going to need cultures in a few months - can I order them now?
Yes - absolutely! The earlier we can plan your shipment, the better. Just indicate in the comment field of your order when you would like your cultures to arrive and we will do our best to accommodate your request.