The Microalgae and Zygnematophyceae Collection Hamburg (MZCH) – living cultures for research on rare streptophytic algae
von Schwartzenberg, Klaus; Bornfleth, Stephanie; Lindner, Ann-Cathrin; Hanelt, Dieter
The Microalgae and Zygnematophyceae Collection Hamburg (MZCH, previously SVCK) is a living culture collection of algae currently harboring 550 different unialgal strains. The focus of the collection is on the class of Zygnematophyceae (Conjugatophyceae) represented with 502 strains. The collection covers all six families of Zygnematophyceae: Closteriaceae (17), Desmidiaceae (430), Gonatozygaceae (7), Peniaceae (11), Mesotaeniaceae (24), Zygnemataceae (13). The Desmidiaceae strains originate from a wide range of different geographic origins and taxa comprising 246 different species. In total MZCH harbors 165 individual strains covering 148 different taxa that are not listed in other publicly accessible algae culture collections. As far as available, all collection sites are georeferenced and all available information on each strain is listed in a datasheet available via the collection website http://www.mzch-svck.uni-hamburg.de. This article presents the MZCH culture collection with its taxonomic and geographic diversity. We review the scientific work of the last five years for which 127 different MZCH strains have been employed a total of 227 times. MZCH offers its services as a stock center giving access to Zygnematophyceae strains as well as offering deposition of new and important microalgae strains. Since many details of cell biology and physiology of the Zygnematophyceae and Desmidiaceae are unknown, MZCH is a resource enabling experimental work on rare and in many cases endangered algae.