List of Media and Recipes

Maintenance of cultures

Cultures sent to customers remain alive for at least 14 days provided that the following precautions are observed. Cultures should be unpacked immediately after receipt and stored at 15-18°C under low light intensity (north window, no direct sun light, or weak white fluorescent light). Screw caps or vessels should be loosened but not removed. Further maintenance or multiplication of cultures requires transfer into new culture media. This presupposes experience in simple microbial techniques.

Many species are cultivated and dispatched on agar media (cited in SAG Database as "Medium Ag") for safety reasons but develop their morphological characteristics only in liquid media, e.g. flagellates, colony-forming Volvocales and Chlorococcales. For teaching purposes these species should be transferred into liquid media 2-3 weeks before demonstration, e.g. into Soil Water Media, Basal Medium, or Desmidiacean Medium.

Culture Media

The following media have proved suitable for the maintenance of cultures in test tubes at the SAG for many years. The recipes originate from E. G. Pringsheim and W. Koch, unless stated otherwise. It must be emphasized that the maintenance medium indicated is not always the best medium for the cultivation of a species. There are other media which are just as suitable, e.g. those given in the catalogues of other culture collections of algae (Thompson et al., 1988, Watanabe and Nozaki, 1994, Andersen et al., 1991, Rippka and Herdman, 1992, Starr and Zeikus, 1993). Mass algal culture often requires more concentrated media (for recipes and methods consult Kuhl and Lorenzen, 1964; Starr, 1971; Stein, 1973; Guillard, 1975; Werner, 1982; Castenholz, 1988; Richmond, 2004; Andersen, 2005).

All solutions should be made up with de-ionized water. Media are usually prepared from stock solutions of macronutrients, trace metals, and vitamins which are added to a large proportion of the final volume of water in order to avoid precipitation.

Media may be used as liquid or solidified by 1.0-1.5% agar. Media recipes that are used in agarized form at SAG are cited as "Medium Ag" in SAG database. Before sterilization the agar has to be dissolved in the medium in a steamer. After this test tubes should be filled with 10 ml of the hot medium, closed with cotton plugs, sterilized (usually by autoclaving at 121°C for 15 min.) and may be stored for several weeks, after cooling, in a refrigerator. Solid media for Cyanobacteria are prepared by mixing, after cooling to 50°C, equal volumes of separately autoclaved double strength solutions of the mineral salts medium and either agar to give a final agar concentration of 0.6-1.0 %.

  • A note on biphasic soil-water media is available here

  • A list of phycological culturing literature is available here

  • +VBasal Medium with 10 % Euglena Medium and Vitamins
    1/2SWEgBrackish half-strength Euglena Medium
    1/2SWESBrackish Water Medium
    1/2SWES+Na2SeO3+B12Brackish Water Medium with Selenite and B12
    1/2SWES+Na2SiO3Brackish Water Medium with Selenite
    3NBBM+VBold's Basal Medium with Vitamins and triple Nitrate
    AcidCyanidium Medium (= Acid Alga Medium)
    Acid B1Cyanidium Medium + B1
    Acid B12Cyanidium Medium + B12
    ASM15+V+Ammon.Artificial Seawater Medium with Vitamins and Ammonium
    ASM30+VArtificial Seawater Medium with Vitamins
    BBeggiatoa Medium
    BG 11BG 11 Medium for Cyanobacteria
    CaESoil Water Medium with CaCO3
    ChiloChilomonas Medium
    DiatBacillariophycean Medium
    DunDunaliella Medium
    Dun. acidDunaliella acidophila Medium
    EgEuglena Medium
    ellaPolytomella Medium
    ErbsESoil Water Medium with Pea (= ErbsE )
    ErbsMSSoil Water Medium with Pea and Loamy Soil with Sand (= Erbs MS)
    ErbsSSoil Water Medium with Pea and with Sand (= Erbs S)
    ESBasal Medium
    ESP AgBasal Medium with Peptone
    f/2Enriched Seawater Medium "f/2"
    GerstESoil Water Medium with Barley (=GerstE)
    K AgKuhl-Medium for Unicellular Green Algae
    Malz AgMalt Peptone Medium
    MBB+V AgModified Bold's Basal Medium
    MiEB12Desmidiacean Medium
    MiEB1B12Desmidiacean Medium with Vitamin B1
    MiEg1/2:1/2Half-strength Euglena Medium with Minerals
    MiEg1:1Euglena Medium with Minerals
    NH4ESoil Water Medium with NH4MgPO4
    OchrOchromonas Medium
    PESProvasoli's enriched Seawater
    PolPolytoma Medium
    PolGuPolytoma Glucose
    Porph AgPorphyridium Medium
    SpirulSpirulina Medium
    SWESSeawater Medium
    SWES+Na2SiO3Seawater Medium with Silicate
    TOM AgModified Bold's Basal Medium for Heterotrophs
    Vol AgVolvox Medium
    WCWC Medium
    WEESWEES Medium
    WeizenESoil Water Medium with Wheat
    ZZehnder-Medium for Cyanobacteria
    Z 45/4Zehnder- 45/4 Medium for Cyanobacteria (without nitrogen)