The Centre for Culture Collection of Microorganisms (CCM) provides equipment and skilled staff for maintenance of living cultures of eukaryotic microorganisms, cyanobacteria and small aquatic invertebrates. The "core" of the centre is three large collections of cultures formed at St. Petersburg University and maintained for many years by distinguished experts and research teams:
- • the Collection of Algae of Leningrad University (CALU) created at the Microbiology Laboratory (about 1500 strains);
- • the collection of ciliates and their symbionts of the Karyology Laboratory (about 4500 strains);
- • the rapidly growing collection of amoebae, heliozoa and other heterotrophic protists (about 400 strains);
- • the Collection of the heterotrophic protists of the Resource Centre "Culture Collection of Microorganisms" (CCM) (about 400 strains).
The resource centre capacities allow maintenance of six additional collections (the total of about 1000 strains of various groups of protists) and suggest potential expansion of the current collection stock by 30%. It is planned to organise a system of aerated microaquaria for maintenance of the protists and small invertebrates, thus enabling the scientists to create microcosms for long-term research and maintenance of samples originating from remote habitats. The Centre for Culture Collection of Microorganism potentially is expected to become the largest culture collection of microorganisms in Eastern Europe.
The resource centre has been designed following the experience of the leading world culture collections such as CCAP (Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa, UK) and ATCC (American Type Culture Collection). The CCM technical facilities include six isolated rooms for culture storing, each fitted with individual programmable climate control. Controlled parameters include temperature, humidity and lighting. The stability of functioning of these rooms is guaranteed by a double backup protection system: in case of failure of any of the devices, not more than two out of the six rooms will stop working, thus enabling a safe storage of the collections. The CCM laboratory rooms are equipped with all facilities for maintenance, passage, feeding, cleaning and other procedures necessary to maintain cultures of eukaryotic microooganisms. This equipment includes laminar boxes, fume cupboards, local climate cabinets, cold cabinets, high-quality Leica M125C stereomicroscopes, Nikon TMS100 inverted microscopes and Leica DM2500 upright ones with phase contrast and Nomarsky contrast optics, shaker hatching units and different kinds of centrifuges.
One of the major challenges one may come across when working with microorganisms is the difficulty of their transportation for further research at labs and other resource centres. That is why CCM offers technical facilities for live material research using the main methods of light microscopy. These facilities include a highquality Leica M205C stereomicroscope (256х magnification, zoom lens, reflected and transmitted light), an inverted Leica DMI3000 microscope with phase contrast and integrated modulation contrast optics («Nomarsky in Petri dishes») as well as a Leica DMI 2500 microscope equipped with a fluorescent module and high-aperture lenses. All the devices are equipped with Leica DFC490 digital cameras enabling highquality images in various regimes. The cameras are served by the Leica Application Suite software with a rich set of modules for research and documenting of images. CCM also includes a special room for cytochemical research, material preparation for electrone microscopy as well as a room for basic molecular research (DNA and RNA purification, PCR, analysis and purification of PCR products, nucleic acid hybridisation, drying of amplicons and DNA probes). There are deep-freeze refrigerators for storing DNA collections and liquid nitrogen can be used for cryoconservation and temporal cryostorage of cultures.
The reliable protection of materials, working environment and workers from contamination and aggressive influences is a key constituent of any up-to-date lab. CCM is equipped with SafeFAST Elite Microbiological Safety Cabinets which are the cutting-edge laminar boxes produced by Faster, F LabPro FM fume cupboards which are safe and inexpensive Russian products and LamSystems PCR boxes widely used for molecular research.
Phone: +7 (812) 428-40-10