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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Microbial preservation

CABI scientists have considerable expertise and experience in the optimal preservation of microorganisms. Our specialized facilities include both freeze-drying and cryopreservation, and these are supported by programmable freezers and cryomicroscopy that enable us to design bespoke procedures to maximzse viability and maintain microbial properties.

Microorganisms cited in publications, including new species and interesting strains, should be stored in a public service collection to facilitate long-term access for research and confirmation of published results. Such deposits are accepted into the CABI collections. Capacity is limited, and strains must, therefore, meet specific criteria relating to the scope and capacity of CABI’s interests. 

In response to ever-changing legal and regulatory requirements, CABI has expanded its safe deposit service, offering customers a higher degree of service and reassurance for the long term storage of valuable isolates. You can deposit microorganisms with us confidentially and we will preserve them as freeze dried samples and in liquid nitrogen to ensure stability of the material. We can also preserve and store organisms cited in patents and pre-patent application strains for their safe keeping.


Standard: Lyophilisation (freeze-drying) and cryo-preservation of strains. Confidential preservation and storage of client microbial resources. Clients send us actively growing cultures. We then preserve them by freeze drying and cryopreservation, assess viability post preservation and store them for as long as a client requires. We can also undertake characterization and stability studies.

Gold: Lyophilisation (freeze-drying) and cryo-preservation of strains with molecular strain definition of stored strains including comparison against type strains and biannual viability check. 

Download and submit our Safe deposit request form

Safe deposit form download

The CABI Cryobank provides off site back-up storage and preservation of bacterial and fungal master culture lines or process cultures. Our confidential storage is completely confidential and supports corporate disaster recovery planning. 

Vials are shipped to us pre-frozen before being directly transferred to ultra low temperature storage in a secure inventory system for as long as required.

Microorganisms often change over time due to strain drift or mutation. This can result in its commercially important activity becoming compromised or completely lost. Our stability checking procedure is a monitoring service which ensures the stability of production cultures by checking them against cultures in long-term storage. In extreme cases we can recover activities previously considered lost.

We will also advise on the best ways to store and maintain specific microorganisms, as well as providing a regular supply service to ensure that only the best cultures are used in production.

Rental of cryostorage is as little as little as £115 per annum (per 100 cryovials)