Welcome to the Canadian Phycological Culture Centre - CPCC (formerly known as the University of Toronto Culture Collection of Algae and Cyanobacteria - UTCC). Housed at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Biology, the CPCC is internationally recognized as a major service collection of living freshwater algal and cyanobacterial cultures. About 50% of the strains are native to Canada and about 80% are unique to the CPCC. Approximately 400 strains of primarily freshwater algae and cyanobacteria along with a few strains of important marine microalgae and Lemna spp. are maintained.
Founded in 1987, the collection has provided research quality cultures and related services to over 1100 users in educational institutions, government and commercial laboratories in nearly 30 countries worldwide. The CPCC provides high-quality cultures and culture medium along with training workshops in aseptic technique and culture maintenance. Time and expertise permitting, the following services are also provided: custom isolation, purification, identification, consultation, and deposition of valuable strains (either on safe-deposit or accession to the general collection).
Strains are often used for environmental research and biotechnology applications including: a potential source of biofuels and natural novel products, carbon sequestration, bioremediation, bio-control and toxic effects of cyanobacteria, toxin detection methods, algal bloom studies, ecotoxicity testing, physiology and molecular basis of metal toxicity and tolerance in algae, the impact of ultra-violet radiation on algae, taxonomic identification of algae by DNA barcoding, taste and odour problems in drinking water, and aesthetic landscaping (i.e., algae gardens).
Currently, the CPCC is financially supported by user fees and receives non-financial support from the University of Waterloo. The support of the users and UW is gratefully acknowledged.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012 resulted in a moratorium being placed upon the NSERC Major Resource Support (MRS) grant. NSERC programs under various names have supplied partial financial support for the CPCC since 1989, with the MRS grant being the most recent program.
Due to the frequency of telephone and email requests for detailed information we are implementing a consultation fee for this service. There will now be a charge for time spent on these consultations in excess of 15 minutes at a rate of $48/hour for non-profit clients and $60/hour for commercial clients billed in 15 minute increments. Thank you for your understanding and for using CPCC services.
In order that you receive healthy, viable cultures we try to avoid shipping when weather conditions are extremely cold or hot. Our guidelines are to postpone shipments when the maximum daytime temperatures are over 28 C and overnight temperatures are lower than minus 15 C in the Waterloo, ON area or in the destination area. We will make every effort to ensure that the cultures are well packed to avoid freezing or overheating. If your need is urgent and the weather is unfavourable, we will try to accommodate your preferred schedule but this is at your own risk.
Seminars on controlling contamination in cultures: available in Sept and Oct 2009 at Corning Inc. Sponsored by ATCC and the Society for In Vitro Biology. The seminars are intended for animal culture but may be useful for algal culture as well. See
The CPCC was relocated from the University of Toronto to the University of Waterloo in August 2008. We have hired a new Technical Curator, Heather Roshon to work with Judy Acreman, who is now serving as Manager of the CPCC on a part time basis. We are in a transition phase but will do our best to serve you as promptly as possible. Please allow 8-10 business days from the time we receive your order until the cultures are shipped. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
The CPCC which was formerly known as UTCC became 24 years old in 2011. See the Timeline for some of the milestones along the way.