Supply of Microbial Cultures

MCM is currently supplying authenticated cultures of archaea, bacteria and anaerobic fungi for teaching and research purposes. Cultures accessioned at MCM have their own accession numbers that may or may not have equivalent(s) in other culture collection(s). Equivalent cultures may not be identical to the original ones because genetic drift may occur. MCM supplies authenticated microorganisms either as actively growing cultures in agar stabs or broth in serum bottles, or as lyophilized vials (freeze dried ampoules). Cultures are sent by speed post/ courier only after the receipt of the payment.

Cultures are available for non-commercial (teaching, research and quality control) use only. For commercial use, please contact Curator in-charge( Cultures are not supplied to private addresses.

General steps involved in the supply process


Recipient searches for the desired microorganism(s) in our online catalog. For certain microorganisms, special rates are applicable and these will be reflected in our online catalog.


If available, recipient fills the form for purchase of culture(s) clearly mentioning the name and MCM accession number of the microorganism(s), includes official address and duly signs the form.

  • a. Students/project assistants/research associates should get their request for cultures endorsed by guide/principal investigator or by Head of the Department.
  • b. Access to MCM cultures by foreign nationals or investigators working outside India is governed by the rules of the Biodiversity Act and the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), Government of India. Such requests must therefore be accompanied by appropriate approval from NBA.
  • c. A request for cultures from outside India must include an import permit for the procurement along with the approval of NBA. Such a request may need clearance from the appropriate authority in India (HMSC) before cultures can be sent.

Recipient duly signs two copies of the Material Transfer Agreement


Recipient makes the online payment and includes the proof of payment with the form and submits a hard copy to MCM.


One copy of the MTA signed by MCM along with the culture will be dispatched by registered mail within two weeks after receiving a request.

Requirements from Recipient
  • Send duly filled form with official address along with proof of payment and two copies of signed MTA.
  • In case of any concerns related to the purity, authenticity or viability of cultures, recipient must communicate the same to MCM within 30 days from the date of receipt. MCM will not entertain any requests beyond this time frame.
Terms and Conditions for Culture Supply


Supplied material is for the sole use of the recipient and it will not be passed to others under any circumstances.


MCM does not grant license, expressed or implied, for any commercial use of cultures received from it. Recipient of MCM culture(s) is responsible for ensuring that the rights of the depositor are not violated by use of such culture(s).


All cultures should be handled carefully while taking utmost care and established safety precautions.


Cultures should be revived/subcultured on recommended medium and conditions soon after receiving them.


Viability, purity and authenticity of supplied cultures are carefully examined by MCM staff. Complaints about the cultures will not be entertained after one month of dispatch from MCM.


MCM checks taxonomic authenticity (and markers of genetic stocks) of the cultures but not the other associated properties (like production of metabolites, degradation of specific compounds etc.). These properties were mentioned by the depositor of the culture(s). MCM does not guarantee that these properties are retained by the culture(s).


MCM is not responsible explicit or implicit, for misuse or improper handling of cultures received from MCM.


By accepting cultures from MCM it is implied that the recipient agrees to the terms and conditions of supply.

Time Taken for Supply

For active cultures, 07-20 working days depending on incubation time required for growth of the culture(s). For freeze dried ampoules, 3 to 4 working days. In case the ampoules are not in stock, the timeline will extend by another 7-20 working days.