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Culture Collection of Algae & Protozoa

The Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) at SAMS is the most diverse collection of its kind in the world, with ca 3000 strains of marine and freshwater algae, protists and seaweeds.

Algae & Protozoa library

In phylogenetic terms, The Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) is the most diverse culture collection in the world. Some of these cultures have been in cultivation for over a century while others have been added in the past few months - we frequently isolate new strains to add to the collection. The collection was started by Professor Ernst Georg Pringsheim and is made up of a wide range of taxa including cyanobacteria, eukaryotic phytoplankton, thalloid red algae, multicellular seaweeds, free-living non-pathogenic protozoa, and a small number of potentially pathogenic protozoa. Strains are primarily maintained by serial sub-culture although about 30% of the algal strains and 2% of the protozoan strains are cryopreserved to maximise genetic stability.

CCAP also offers a wide range of services in addition to maintaining the collection and supplying cultures. We accept standard deposits of cultures of algae and free-living, non-pathogenic protozoa curate deposits of valuable strains for confidential safekeeping for the depositor as an International Depository Authority (IDA) CCAP also accepts patented strains of (a) freshwater and terrestrial algae and cyanobacteria; (b) non-pathogenic free-living protozoa; and (c) marine algae and cyanobacteria other than large seaweeds.

Cultures can be purchased for academic or commercial uses. For details please visit the dedicated CCAP website.

CCAP supports a wide range of research areas at the SAMS including: algal biofuels, biotechnology, biodiversity, food safety (eg toxic algae) polar science. The collection also has the potential to support other research topics including in: ecotoxicology, mariculture, biomarkers (eg for palaeo-environmental changes).

Current CCAP research activities:

  • the cultivation of algae and protists
  • collection genomics and barcoding
  • cryopreservation of protists and cyanobacteria
  • the physiology and taxonomy of various strains in the collection
  • the potential of microalgae for the production of biofuels
  • controlling grazers in dense algal environments
  • toxic phytoplankton
  • algal parasites
  • endosymbionts


Key information and contact details:

You can find more detailed information at the Centre website

Head of CCAP: Dr John Day

Email: John.Day@sams.ac.uk
T: +44 [0]1631 559 349

Marine Curator: Christine Campbell

Email: Christine.Campbell@sams.ac.uk
T: +44 [0]1631 559 386

Administrator: Rachel Saxon

Email: ccap@sams.ac.uk
T: +44 [0]1631 559 268


The Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll, PA37 1QA


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