CCALA: Culture Collection of Autotrophic Organisms
This collection of autotrophic organisms stems from the Prague collections of V. Uhlíř and E.G. Pringsheim from 1913. Currently it contains more than 172 strains of cyanobacteria, 343 strains of algae and 142 strains of non-seed plants. The collection includes not only typical strains but also isolates from extreme sites – polar areas and thermal springs. The collection is included in the Czech and even world federation of collections of microorganisms. It annually distributes 200-700 strains to the Czech Republic and internationally. Aside from the distribution services, the collection also has its own research program to conserve strains and develop cultivation facilities under a project to develop methods of long-term conservation of strains using cryopreservation and immobilization under the European COBRA project (The Conservation of a vital European scientific and Biotechnological Resource: microAlgae and cyanobacteria). Practically the entire collection is now parallelly maintained in liquid nitrogen, which ensures perfect conservation and preservation of strain traits. The goal of the project is for all, important European collections of algae to adopt cryopreservation methods. Cryopreservation maintains the genetic stability of the strains for research and provides more biotechnologically reliable isolates than those grown in cultures that often succumb to mutation and population pressures.