[9] Cell stability and storage
Review articleOpen access

Publisher SummaryThis chapter focuses on cell stability and storage. Cultures of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have normally been maintained in the laboratory in appropriate aqueous media in small flasks or dishes or on agar-solidified slants. Continuing serial transfer, in some cases for up to 40 years, has constituted the standard procedure for culture maintenance. Synechococcus 6301 (Anacystis nidulans, Tx 20) was first isolated into unialgal culture in 1947 and made axenic by W. A. Kratz in 1952. Although documentation is sparse, one may surmise that the present-day cultures of Synechococcus 6301 are genetically different from the original culture. Cyanobacteria probably have the same long-term cultural instability well documented among other prokaryotes. Lastly, continuing serial cultivation is labor intensive and very time consuming. Cyanobacteria are grown in the appropriate medium and under the appropriate conditions until the onset of stationary phase. The timing and culture density at the onset of stationary phase is conveniently controlled by limiting the nitrogen content of the growth medium.

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