Collection content

Microbial group/s: Harmful marine microalgae

Total number of strains: 354

Taxa (number of strains): Dinoflagellate (mainly)

Isolation source/Origin: Spanish waters, rest of oceans, temperate waters, tropical waters

Preservation method: They are kept alive in enriched seawater media through periodic transfers

Information management: Database in Microsoft Access

Characterization level: Identification at species level


Internal: Group of investigation


  • Does not provide services to external users
  • Strains have been exchanged / transferred to research groups in other countries
  • Occasionally a strain has been sold to a company.
  • Some strains are found in other culture collections such as the NCMA of the USA or the SCCAP of Denmark


Key words: Harmful microalgae, taxonomy, genetics, cellular cycles, ecophysiology, ecology, toxin production

Summary: The Vigo Oceanographic Center's collection of harmful microalgae cultures aims to maintain the current collection, improve cultivation methods in order to simplify its maintenance as much as possible, and isolate or acquire new strains of species considered necessary to explain a possible case of damage derived from them, or that are necessary for the development of a future research project.

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Brief historical review

Collection started with a strain of Alexandrium tamarense from the Ría de Vigo isolated on April 1, 1984. The database has 1160 records, although currently only 354 strains are available. Many have been lost or destroyed due to lack of interest in them and to lighten the workload.