The Algal Resources Collection has been housed in the newly constructed MARBIONC (Marine Biotechnology of North Carolina) building. The MARBIONC building is a secure, card swipe facility, of which over 370 m2 is dedicated to the Algal Resources Collection. The collection itself is maintained in four walk in rooms averaging 24 m2 each that are set at locked temperatures of 15 °C, 20 °C, 20°C, and 25°C. Additionally five reach-in biological growth chambers are maintained at adjustable temperatures for back up cultures and growth experiments. Over 40 m2 of general lab space is dedicated to culturing prep and clean up, single cell isolation, SEM and chemical use, and shipment preparation. In addition, there is a transfer room with five laminar flow hoods and 9 m2 of bench space, a molecular room with 7 m2 of bench space, an HPLC facility with 5 m2 of bench space, and a room dedicated to fluorescent and phase contrast microscopy.
The Algal Resources Collection specializes in the growth and maintenance of marine diatoms, flagellates, and dinoflagellates that have been shown to be harmful in some way to aquatic life or human health. Our cultures have either been classified as harmful algal bloom (HAB) species with known toxin production, found in association with HAB species, or related to known toxin producers. We currently house over 750 clones that represent six algal classes (Figure 1). Sixty-seven unique species from 30 genera (Figure 2) have been identified using a combination of morphometrics and genetics. Forty-five unique clones remain to be identified to the species level. These values reflect a large expansion in the collection when they are compared with 2011 values. During that year we housed fewer unique species and half as many clones and unique genera.