Schenk Lab Algae Biotechnology Services

The Schenk Lab team has significant experience isolating and characterising various algae strains. Our team routinely sample and collect environmental cultures from various locations and as such, have developed a wealth of experience cleaning up, isolating and identifying cultures of interest from mixed cultures samples contaminated with non-algal protists; other bacteria; fungi etc.
We can offer:

  • Taxonomic Identification of Microalgae
  • Taxonomic Identification of Macroalgae
  • Culture Clean up / isolation (pure algae cultures from mixed cultures)
  • Mass Culture Scale Up

Research Services Overview

Taxonomic Identification

The algae identification services are geared towards customer needs.

We can start with a basic microscopic analysis to get a provisional morphological ID (this is easier for the larger microalgae).
COST $175 per strain

For mixed cultures, we can conduct a basic microscopic analysis and determine relative proportions of obvious different species in the algae culture.
COST $225 per strain

A firmer identification can be obtained from 18S rRNA gene analysis, but we would typically recommend a 3-gene screen (18S rRNA; ITS and COX or 28S), this will give an ID to species level with high confidence – taxonomists prefer this level of confidence.

  • COST 18s rRNA $750 per strain
  • COST 18S rRNA; ITS and COX or 28S $1500 per strain

Mixed Culture Molecular Analysis

  • 18S rRNA PCR;
  • TA-cloning;
  • sequence analysis of 96 clones
  • COST $2,500 per culture
  • Grow cells from a culture on plate (assuming they can grow on a plate)
  • Pick individual colonies
  • 18S rRNA gene analysis of different colonies
  • COST $500 per colony (minimum 10 colonies)
  • Flow cytometry sorting of individual cultures
  • Downstream 18S rRNA gene analysis of sorted cells
  • Cost $3000 per culture

We can develop a diagnostic service for you based on a technique called Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP). It involves some basic characterization of your strain, then we would essentially have a diagnostic test for your cultures. High set up cost (approx. $5000) then relatively cheap quantitative analysis ($500 per sample).

Culture Clean Up

Commission Schenk Lab to clean up algal cultures contaminated with non-algal protists; other algae;
bacteria; fungi (prices will vary based on time spent and materials used)

  • Plating, dilution and/or antibiotic techniques charged at $175 an hour plus materials
  • Flow cytometry sorting techniques starting at $800 per culture plus materials