The UKNCC collections welcome deposits relevant to their objectives. It is hoped that scientists will deposit interesting strains in these and other principal collections. The lodging of cultures in more than one collection is desirable for rare and important strains as insurance against accidental loss. Ideally all strains referred to in published research should be deposited in a Collection as reference material.
Deposits to the UKNCC should be strains of new taxa, type cultures, strains with interesting properties, and those cited in publications. Depositors are requested to provide as much information as possible relating to the strain.

Benefits for Depositors

Collections offer a range of benefits. These include:

  1. Safe preservation of your culture
  2. Worldwide access to deposited strains
  3. Removal of the burden of distribution
  4. Validation of type strains
  5. Mycoplasma testing of cells
  6. Exchange of cultures

Safe Deposits

A confidential safe deposit service is offered. Cultures will be stored as freeze-dried ampoules and/or in liquid nitrogen to ensure long-term viability. Customers often find this service useful for important strains during research and development prior to application for a patent. If cultures are to be identified prior to storage, the current rates for that service apply. Viability checks can be carried out during storage if requested. Cultures known to be unstable can be reprocessed at regular intervals specified by the customer.

Patent Deposits

Several of the UKNCC collections are International Depositary Authorities under the Budapest Treaty of 1977.


Bacteria, fungi, nematodes, yeasts


Algae and Protozoa


Animal Cells and hybridomas; animal viruses; DNA probes


Bacteria; phages; plasmids; plant seeds; yeasts


Phytopathogenic bacteria



The collections follow the standard procedures approved by the European Culture Collection Organisation (ECCO) which have been written to clarify the requirements of the Budapest Treaty.


Patent deposits are given a unique collection number on the day of receipt; this is classed as the date of deposit. However, the strain cannot be formally accepted or the depositor notified of the number until a successful viability test has been carried out (in some instances this follows preservation). In addition correctly completed Application and Accession forms must have been received, and some collections require full payment before acceptance. After successful preservation, an ampoule or culture is returned to the depositor for confirmation of identity and activities.

Viability checks are not normally carried out during storage unless requested by the depositor. The Collection will suggest intervals for such checks depending on the organism and preservation method. A fee is levied for each viability check. Samples of the organisms are made available at any time to the depositor to check the retention of activities.

Strains previously deposited may be converted to Patent deposits. Depositors must provide the relevant completed forms and a viability check will be carried out on the deposited material. A sample of this new or deposited material will be returned to the depositor for confirmation of identity and activities. A new accession number and patent deposit date will be issued.

Cultures will be released only on the written authorisation of the depositor or on receipt of a certificate of release from the relevant Patent Office depending on the type of deposit. The depositor will be informed of the name and address of the relevant Patent Office and of the requesting party.

Healthy, pure cultures suitable for preparing samples for freeze-drying and liquid nitrogen storage should be supplied. Payment must accompany the deposit for urgent requests. These procedures can be completed in optimum time (depending on the growth rate of the organism). Further information concerning the service together with copies of the Application and Accession forms are available on request.