Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 121–127 | Cite as

Long-term viability of preserved eukaryotic algae

  • John G. Day
  • Makoto M. Watanabe
  • G. John Morris
  • Roland A. Fleck
  • Mark R. McLellan


Levels of viability of Chlorella emersonii after storage of dried material for one year were 0.1% on rehydration, all other dried organisms examined in this study failed to recover after prolonged storage. In addition, no detectable recovery was observed in any of the algae tested after storage of freeze-dried cultures. Methods have also been developed to cryopreserve a range of microalgae, but no single protocol has been found to be universally satisfactory. Some strains are apparently not able to withstand cryopreservation using known methods, whilst others may be frozen successfully in the absence of cryoprotectant by plunging directly into liquid nitrogen. A two-step protocol (cooling to an intermediate subzero temperature prior to plunging into liquid nitrogen) has been used to cryopreserve the majority of strains. Where this has proven successful, post-thaw viability levels of over 95% have been attained for some algae. This paper demonstrates that, where applicable, cryopreservation allows the long-term preservation of frozen algae with no significant reduction in viability up to 22 years storage.

algae cryo-injury cryopreservation culturecollection cryo-storage drying freeze-drying 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Day
    • 1
  • Makoto M. Watanabe
    • 2
  • G. John Morris
    • 3
    • 4
  • Roland A. Fleck
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mark R. McLellan
    • 1
  1. 1.Windermere LaboratoryCulture Collection of Algae and Protozoa, Institute of Freshwater EcologyCumbriaUK
  2. 2.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Culture Centre of Algae and ProtozoaCambridgeUK
  4. 4.Asymptote, St. John's Innovation CentreCambridgeUK
  5. 5.School of Molecular and Life SciencesUniversity of Albertay DundeeDundeeUK

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