NIVA Culture Collection of Algae microalgae for science and technology
Edvardsen, Bente; Skulberg, Randi; Skulberg, Olav M.
The NIVA Culture Collection of Algae was initiated in the early 1960s, when a selection of microalgal cultures was brought together to be used in experimental studies and bioassays in research on water pollution at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (Norsk institutt for vannforskning, acronym NIVA). Today the collection comprises more than 750 strains of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microalgae representing ca. 300 species. Most of the strains were isolated from Norwegian lakes, rivers and coastal waters. The collection has particularly been developed for studies related to cyanobacteria, and includes ca. 490 strains of this group. The filamentous cyanobacteria compose the largest fraction. Many of the cyanobacterial strains possess the ability to produce toxins, volatile biogenic substances, biohydrogen or other compounds of environmental or technological significance. The main objective of the NIVA Culture Collection is to isolate, maintain and supply microalgal cultures for use in research, teaching and for applied purposes. The collection has promoted research on microalgal biosystematics, biochemistry, physiology, and was instrumental in the development of algal culture technology at NIVA and elsewhere.