• How can I obtain material from a patent deposit?

    The BCCM collections are approved as International Depository Authority and operate under the Budapest Treaty to make patent materials available. Requests for patented material should be joined by written approval of the relevant patent office or the depositor. 


  • How to find biological material and the associated information?

    Most strains and biological materials are listed with their associated information in the online catalogues. Exceptions are materials that are deposited confidentially and materials that are under research. Additional information may be obtained from the literature references in the individual entries of each material.

    Search catalogues


  • In which form will the biological material be delivered?

    The form of supply is depending on the type of biological material that is requested and from which collection it is requested. The collection-specific forms of supply are shown on each collection's catalogue search page.

    Search catalogues


  • What is the delivery time of the biological material?


    Shipment of liquid stock cultures is foreseen within 15 working days. Cultures from cryopreserved material are generally delivered within 4 weeks. For specific cases (e.g., slow growing microalgae) a deliver date is discussed with the client.


    Shipment of plasmids is foreseen within with one week (plasmids with core status & library clones) or within three weeks (plasmids with non-core status).

    Shipment of plasmid hosts is foreseen within one week (non-competent host cultures), or as soon as quality controls have been approved (competent host cells).


    Freeze dried material in stock is sent within one week, in case the material is not in stock or a fresh culture is requested, the client is contacted, but the order is generally sent out within 3 weeks.


    Shipment is foreseen within two weeks for freeze-dried material or thermolysates, or within 1-2 months in case fresh cultures or gDNA are requested. Exceptions to this are possible for specific cases after discussion with the client.


    Shipment of freeze dried material is foreseen within one week, shipment of a fresh culture within two weeks, shipment of DNA within 3 – 5 weeks.


    Shipment of biological material is foreseen within 4 weeks. Different arrangements are possible in consultation with the collection in particular for large batches of strains or for specific delivery dates.


    Shipment is foreseen within 15 working days, except for specific cases after discussion with the client.


  • Are certificates provided for strains that were ordered?

    The package with the strains will include a delivery note with the following information: strain number, species name, conformity of viability, purity, identity tests, recommended culture medium and incubation temperature as well as the country of origin and biological origin. In case you need further certification, please contact the collection.


  • What is a type strain?

    A type strain is designated in the description of a new species. It is the single reference strain of a species to which other strains need to be compared for valid inclusion in that species (i.e. identification). The type strain is the validated nomenclatural representative of a species, but is not necessarily the most typical representative of its species.

    Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi & plants Code of Nomenclature for Bacteria


    If a BCCM collection strain is a type strain, this is specifically indicated as its "status" in our catalogues.

    Search catalogues


  • How can I pay?


    The only accepted payment mode is by bank transfer. Our invoices indicate all necessary information for payment.


    An invoice containing all details for payment by bank transfer will be sent electronically after the biological material has been shipped. Payment by credit card using the PAYDIRECT payment system is possible upon request. You will receive an automatically generated e-mail with a link to a secured webpage for the online payment via credit card.


    We accept payment by credit card and by bank transfer, all necessary information can be found on the invoice.


    We accept payment by bank transfer and credit card. All necessary information can be found on the invoice. For payment with credit card an additional 0.86 euros + 2,46% (worldline) are charged. Example a total service cost of €100 will amount to €103.4 (100.86€ +2.46%).


    An invoice containing all details for payment will be issued after the strains have been sent. Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit card. In case of payment by credit card, a surcharge of 1,5 % will be added to the total amount of the invoice. If you want to pay by credit card please indicate this on your order form, so we can issue the invoice for the correct amount. You will then receive an e-mail from with a link for payment by credit card. Via the link you will be able to make an online payment.


    Due to rules imposed by the host University we cannot accept payment by credit card. The only accepted payment mode is by bank transfer, with or without Purchase Order number. Our invoices indicate all necessary information for payment by bank transfer.


    The only accepted payment mode is by bank transfer and with a Purchase Order number. Our invoices indicate all necessary information for payment by bank transfer.


  • What is the VAT number of the different institutes?

    UGent - Ghent University BCCM/LMG, BCCM/GeneCorner, BCCM/DCG BE 0248015142
    UCLouvain - Université catholique de Louvain BCCM/MUCL BE 0419052272
    ITG - Institute of Tropical Medicine BCCM/ITM BE 0410057701
    Sciensano BCCM/IHEM BE 0693876830
    ULiège - Université de Liège BCCM/ULC BE 0325777171


  • What is the price of the biological materials?

    Check out the pricelists specific to each BCCM collection.


  • How should I handle sets of strains?

    Watch the instruction video.

  • How should cultures be recovered from ampoules containing lyophilised material?

    Watch the instruction videos.

  • How to store BCCM's biological materials?

    Ampoules with lyophilised materials

    Freeze dried cultures stored in their intact glass ampoules at 4°C to 6°C in the dark; generally remain viable for many years after production.

    Living cultures of fungi

    Living cultures on agar slants can be stored at 4°C for a short period only.

    It is advised to recover the culture immediately on receipt by subculturing onto fresh medium before use or storage. For longer storage you can either prepare a cryovial for storage at -80°C or lower containing the biological material and 10% glycerol or lyophilise the biological material with suitable protectants such as trehalose.


    It is advised to recover the biological material immediately on receipt before use or storage.

    On receipt of a plasmid-carrying culture:

    Subcultivate into liquid or on solid medium according to the cultivation conditions described in the ‘Host/Plasmid information’ section on top of the datasheet.

    Long-term preservation:
    • cryopreservation of H/P culture (below -70°C) in 50% glycerol
    • preservation of precipitated plasmid DNA under ethanol

    On receipt of plasmid DNA:

    Transform the host strain, mentioned in the ‘Host/Plasmid information’ section on top of the datasheet (or a similar one), with the enclosed plasmid DNA.
    Transformants can be recovered by streaking the transformation mixture on the prescribed, selective cultivation medium and cultivating at the prescribed cultivation temperature (both mentioned also in the ‘Host/Plasmid information’ section on top of the datasheet).

    Long-term preservation:
    • cryopreservation of the transformed cells (below -70°C) in 50% glycerol
    • preservation of precipitated plasmid DNA under ethanol


  • Which growth conditions are recommended for a particular strain?

    The recommended growth conditions are shown in the online catalogues and on the delivery note or certificate that accompanies the delivered strains. These conditions should be used for the initial subculture from the BCCM provided material. Media abbreviations refer to common microbiological growth media. Their composition will be made available on request.



  • How to send your biological material to BCCM?

    Cultures should be fresh when leaving your lab and be packaged to prevent breakage.

    Petri dishes as primary recipients should be avoided if possible. Screw cap tubes are preferred. Glass material may be used, but obviously bears a greater risk of breakage to be counteracted by appropriate packaging.

    For plasmids, isolated DNA in aqueous solution is preferred.

    Organisms of Risk Group 2 and 3 require packaging according to the UN Model Regulations for correct packaging and shipping of Dangerous Goods. This implicates that a special type of packaging must be used and that the parcel must be transported by a recognized courier.

    It is the sender's responsibility to comply to the national regulations for the export of biological material and include any required export permit and certificates.

    Avoid excessive exposure to heat and cold as well as long transport delays as much as possible.


  • Is there a charge for depositing biological material in a BCCM collection?

    Deposit of biological material in a public collection of BCCM is free of charges to the depositor.

    Charges for the deposit of biological material for patent purposes or as a safe deposit can be found in our pricelists.


  • What are the key specificities of safe and patent deposits?

    Safe deposits are confidential during the entire period of the contract. Distribution is limited to the depositor and depositor-authorised third parties. The depositor decides about the fate of the material at the end of the contract.

    Safe deposit


    Patent deposits serve the purpose to make patents reproducible. Microbial resources deposited for patent purposes are not catalogued by BCCM. Samples can still be distributed however, upon written authorisation either by the depositor or an entitled Industrial Property Office, according to the rules of the Budapest Treaty.

    Patent deposit