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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

SOP for Back-up Storage Microbials at NCGRP

Request for back-up of microbials
  • Prior permission and arrangements are required before any microbial back-ups will be accepted at NCGRP.
  • A signed MTA is required for microbial back-up at NCGRP
    • Although not a legal requirement for federal labs, this is a policy of NCGRP so there is a mechanism to review all collections every five years.
    • MTAs must be signed by the OTT coordinator at the Area Office prior to acceptance of any material.
  • Labs desiring to have microbial collections backed-up at NCGRP should contact:

Dr. David Dierig
1111 South Mason St.
Fort Collins, CO  80521
Tele: 970 495-3265
Fax 970 221-1427

  • The donor is responsible for providing NCGRP with necessary permits for transport of materials to Ft. Collins.  NCGRP will be responsible for obtaining necessary permits for the maintenance and storage of the material.
  • The donor is required to complete a Material Deposit Spreadsheet prior to shipping.
  • Material requiring special handling or special confinement conditions will not be accepted. 
  • Material posing any hazards in handling or storage will not be accepted.

Shipping microbials to NCGRP for back-up storage
  • An MTA and all required permits and other documents must be in place prior to shipping.
  • The shipping container(s) must have the proper documents and permits attached.
    • All shipments must include a hardcopy inventory detailing the contents of each shipment, itemized by each cryovial box (81 or 100-well).
    • An electronic inventory must accompany all shipments.  This can be sent via email but must be received prior to receipt of the microbes.
  • All shipments must be pre-approved by Dr. David Dierig or the curator prior to shipping.
  • All cultures must be shipped ready-to-store and our default storage condition is LN2.  Unless arranged otherwise, this would include:
    • Cultures will be in tightly sealed 1.5 ml or 2 ml cryovials.
    • All tubes will be contained within a standard size cryovial storage box (maximum dimensions 133 mm  x 133 mm x 52 mm) designed for cryostorage (i.e. Nuc Polyethlene-Coated Chipboard Storage Boxes, brown, 81 vials, Mfr. # 378220, Cat. # 12-565-182 or Simplot T314-2100 Cryostore 100 vial storage box)
  • Other storage options should be discussed with NCGRP prior to submission and could include -20 and -80. 
  • Each cryovial storage box must have an identifying label on the outside.
  • Inside each cryovial storage box there must be some designation as to inventory order of the vials inside the box.  This can be done by: 
    • Labeling the rows and columns (some boxes come prelabeled);
    • Designating the first row and column with permanent marker;
    • Leaving the top left hand well vacant (space designated by row 1, column 1).
    • Marking the top of each vial.
  • NCGRP has a dry LN2 shipper that depositors can use (LN2 shipper holds five cryovial storage boxes).  NCGRP will pay to ship the container to the depositor; the depositor is responsible for properly charging the shipper with LN2 and for the cost of shipping it overnight express back to NCGRP.  The depositor can also ship the cultures on dry ice.
  • Notify Vicki Hernandez ( [cc David Dierig -] as soon as the shipment is made with the tracking number for the shipment.
  • Shipments should be shipped via overnight courier on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  Please do not ship on Thursday or Friday.
Receiving and storage of microbials at NCGRP
  • Once received at NCGRP, the cryovial storage boxes will be removed from the shipping container, the number of vials in each box will be checked to ensure the proper numbers of vials are in the box and the box will then be transferred directly into a designated storage location in the cryotank.  The proper placement of vials in the storage box corresponding with the inventory supplied is the responsibility of the donor.  NCGRP will not check to verify the inventory.
    • Removal of the cryovial storage box from the shipping container and the quick scanning of the number of vials will be done rapidly over LN2 vapors to maintain temperature.
    • The cryovial storage box will then be placed in a pre-cooled cryo rack and rapidly placed in the cryotank.
  • NCGRP staff will not touch individual vials nor will they check descriptions on individual vials to confirm vial identity.  NCGRP staff will only confirm the number of cryovial storage boxes and the number of vials per box.
  • Storage location and other information (see Microbial Deposit Spreadsheet) will be entered into our in-house database.
  • Storage location and confirmation of back-up storage will be sent to the depositor for their records.

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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