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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

USDA ARS National RHIZOBIUM Database
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5 - UNESCO Affiliation
6 - Requests And Deposits
Requests And Deposits
Two visiting scientists examining the characteristics of a rhizobial culture growing on a solid surface nutrient medium contained in a petri plate

Most journals now require authors to submit newly isolated microbial cultures to recognized culture collections for preservation as part of the process of peer reviewed publication. The USDA ARS National Rhizobium Germplasm Collection is a recognized collection and will accept cultures that originated from plant root nodules. Also, we encourage authors, who have proposed new species, to consider our collection as a recipient. Unlike most collections, we also preserve other cultures in addition to type strains. Therefore, we are able to maintain strains representing the diversity within species. Since we distribute cultures free of charge, our collection is a very cost-effective way in which future authors can include a comprehensive set of strains in their studies.

We strongly encourage communication by e-mail ( When requesting or depositing strains please provide us with the following:


  1. A copy of the scientific paper, if characterizations have been published.
  2. Original host of isolation.
  3. Location of nodule collection or origin of soil sample.
  4. Name and address of person depositing culture.
  5. Culture identification number used in the literature.
  6. A statement indicating permission to distribute culture(s).
  7. and of course the cultures.

We would encourage that for diversity or taxonomy studies that in addition to the type or reference strains all other characterized isolates be sent to us.


  1. If at all possible the USDA accession number.
  2. Host plant of origin.
  3. Name and full mailing address.
  4. Telephone number.
  5. Whether you would like instructions and media formulation.

In some cases we have noticed that cultures sent abroad by regular mail fail to arrive. This has been especially the case with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It would be helpful, if you think there might be an importation issue in your country, to provide us with any required labels for passage through customs.

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Last Modified: 2/28/2013
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