What is cryopreservation?
Cryopreservation is the storage of live material at temperatures so low that all biological processes are suspended (-196°C).
How does Cawthron use cryopreservation?
Cawthron maintains a nationally significant culture collection of micro-algae, and a number of aquaculture species that are fed to shellfish larvae in hatcheries. Many of the species in the collection are unique, and are being studied for commercial and research applications.
We are also able to cryopreserve and store algal strains of commercial value for clients who have identified strains that produce bioactive compounds of interest.
What are the benefits of cryopreservation?
The ongoing maintenance of the cultures is expensive, however, cryopreservation makes this process more cost effective.
There is constant risk of strains becoming contaminated or lost, and cryopreservation is proving to be cleaner and safer than live maintenance.
Due to genetic drift, important aspects of the algal metabolism can change during the many steps of sub-culturing. As opposed to using traditional storage methods, cryopreservation maintains the original physiological potential of the stored strain.