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REFERENCE NO.: PC/1998/4/1



Plant cell lines are delivered in response to written orders to laboratories or industry. Cell lines may be ordered as callus cultures or in exceptional cases also as suspension cultures.

Cell lines are delivered by mail. Delivery of cultures by a parcel service which guarantees arrival on the next day can be arranged at the expense of the client.

Time between order and delivery of a cell line depends on the kind of order and the amount of cell material available. If a client orders a callus culture or suspension culture normally a quick delivery is possible because most cell lines are maintained in the living state by regular transfer to fresh medium and therefore cell culture material may often be taken out of the routine laboratory procedures. Normally a cell line is delivered on the next Monday after arrival of the order. A lack of material may result in prolonged times for delivery of two to four weeks.

If a client orders a cell line which is kept in the frozen state regrowth and authentication have to be performed before delivery is possible.

The following document describes the formal procedure of delivering a cell line.


1 A request for a plant cell culture arrives.

2 In the data base it is checked whether there are restrictions for the delivery of the cell line (restrictions placed by the depositor, patent strains, restrictions by governmental regulations)

3 If the cell line cannot be delivered due to restrictions placed by the depositor, regulations for patent strains or restrictions by governmental bodies the client is informed (standard letter PC/1998/4/1 Appendix 1)

4. It is checked if and when the culture can be delivered to the client

4.1. In case of living cultures growth and phenotype are checked. It is when the last transfer to fresh medium has been performed and it is estimated how long it will take to achieve cultures good and healthy enough for delivery.

4.2 In case of frozen cultures it is checked from the documentation of the cryopreservation procedure how long it will take to recover cultures which are good and healthy enough for delivery.

5. In case an important permit is needed to import biological material into thecustomers country, it is checked whether the order contains a copy of the per-mit. If not the client is asked to send a copy as soon as possible (standard letter PC/1998/4/1 Appendix 2).

6. The client is informed about the envisaged date of delivery and about the medium composition (standard letter PC/1998/4/1 Appendix 3).

7. On the last Thursday before the envisaged date of delivery (normally on Mondays) the delivery of the cell line is prepared:

7.1. The cultures to be delivered are inspected macroscopically for growth and any obvious contamination.

7.2. The container for delivery of the cell line is prepared:

7.2.1. Two (uninoculated) petri dishes containing fresh medium are prepared for delivery.

7.2.2. A printout of the container label is made and fixed to the container.

7.3. The responsible technician is asked whether additional information about the cell line (growth, special requirements for inoculation etc.) should be given to the client.

7.3.1. If yes a letter is prepared.

7.4. A printout of the cell line medium is prepared.

7.5. The dispatch department is informed about delivery of the cell line.

7.6. Papers and declarations for customs are prepared if necessary.

7.7. On the morning of the envisaged date of delivery all items prepared for cell culture delivery (cell culture + fresh medium packaged in the delivery container, printout of the medium, information letter if necessary, custom declarations if necessary) are handed over to the dispatch department.

7.8. All data are entered into the main panel of the "Requests" database.

Guidelines prepared for CABRI by DSMZ, 20 Jan. 1998
Page Layout CERDIC
Copyright CABRI, 1998 

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