Conservation of Algae

  • J. G. Day
  • M. R. McLellan
Part of the Springer Lab Manuals book series (SLM)


Algae, which in the context of this chapter include both eukaryotic microalgae and prokaryotic cyanobacteria, are virtually ubiquitous in euphotic aquatic environments and are commonly found in terrestrial environments. Some strains are capable of living in extremely ecologically stressful environments, e.g. endolithic cyanobacteria “desert varnish”, which live beneath the surface of rocks (Friedman 1980). Others can form symbiotic associations with fungi (Stewart et al. 1983), liverworts (Rodgers and Stewart 1977), higher plants (Rai et al. 1984), protozoa (Wilcox and Wedemayer 1985) and aquatic invertebrates (Reisser 1985). As with other organisms, the requirement for authentic specimens for use in research and other applications has led to the development of maintenance procedures for the retention of live specimens. Simultaneously, there has been a development of algal culture collections, which vary in size from small specialist collections, for example in aquaculture and ecotoxicity testing centres, to larger specialist collections with several hundred strains, e.g. The Pasteur Culture Collection of Cyanobacterial Strains, up to the largest service collections (Table 1). It has been estimated that there are approximately 50,000 species of microalgae of which approximately 2.5% are currently lodged in collections (Hawksworth and Round 1991).


Soil Extract Ferric Ammonium Citrate Parent Culture Serial Subculture Algal Culture Collection 
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© Springer- Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

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  • J. G. Day
  • M. R. McLellan

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