The Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies
Order | NIES-Collection


1. Agreement for distribution

2. Ordering strains

3. Price and payment

4. Special notes regarding distribution

   4.1. "Fragile species to transportation stresses"
   4.2. "Fragile species to temperature changes"
   4.3. "Unstable" strains
   4.4. "Cryopreserved" strains

5. Distribution to NIES researchers


1. Agreement for distribution

The Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES-Collection) will distribute strains to users who agree to the following conditions:

(1) The strains (including DNA replicates and derivatives from the strains) that are distributed from the NIES-Collection shall be available for education, research, tests, and other special purposes permitted by NIES, as well as for purposes in which public safety must be ensured. The strains are not intended to apply directly to humans. If the strains are toxic, the user hereby acknowledges and accepts the risks posed by toxic strains and shall use the strains in compliance with domestic and foreign laws, regulations, and guidelines. The user shall store and discard the strains appropriately. Even if “toxic” is not specified in the strain list, the user hereby acknowledges and accepts the potential risks of the strains and shall use the strains in compliance with domestic and foreign laws, regulations, and guidelines.

(2) The user shall be requested to submit the application form personally.

(3) The user shall not acquire any intellectual property rights by the purchase of the strain.

(4) The user shall provide written notice to the NIES when the purpose has changed considerably from the purpose that was stated at the time of submission.

(5) The user shall not distribute the strains, or their replicates and derivatives to any third party.

(6) The user shall use the NIES strain number (e.g., NIES-125) when he/she uses a NIES strain in a paper that is subsequently published, and shall send two copies of the reprint(s) or photocopies thereof to the NIES-Collection.

(7) When the use of the strain violates another person’s rights, the user shall bear responsibility for this, and shall deal with the matter on his/her own.

(8) The user shall acknowledge the possibility that the strain is deficient and harmful, and inadequate for the user’s aim. Thus, if the user suffers any loss by the strain, he/she shall bear responsibility for this and shall deal with the matter on his/her own.

(9) The user shall submit the Strain Receipt Form ( PDF / Word )within 1 month of the date of receipt of the strain. The user may request that the strain be sent again without charge if the strain does not show good growth during this warranty period. The NIES-Collection shall not bear any responsibility for mistakes by the user.

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2. Ordering strains

2.1. Ordering culture strains

Online order
1. Search and order the strain(s)
2. Check the view cart of your order
3. Enter your information into the ‘Strain ordering form’
4. Check the ‘Ordering form and agreement for distribution’
5. Print two copies of the ‘Ordering form and agreement for distribution’. Sign the two original documents before sending them by post-office services (air-mail or FedEx services for example). We absolutely need signed hard documents in double to be able to send the strains. Please, make sure to do this procedure quickly to avoid additional delay.
1.1 Search the strain(s) from [Strain list - Alphabetical index-], [Strain list - Systematic index-], and [Search strain data], mark the strain(s) you need, and click Add to Cart  button.
1.2 When you order from the Strain Data page, click Add to Cart  button.
2.1 Select [Your category] and [Affiliation category]
2.2 Confirm strain no., scientific name, remarks, etc.
2.3 Enter the object of the use (please clearly state your purpose of use, this is especially important for international orders to avoid quarantine stop of the parcel), and click continue button.
  ・For Repeater
Enter the e-mail address,Password and click the Next button.

  ・For New registration
Enter your personal information and click the Next button.

Necessary to enter.

4.1 Check ‘Your order’ and ‘Your registration information’
4.2 When you want to change ‘Your registration information’, click Correction of your information button.
4.3 Please read ‘Agreement for distribution.’ The NIES-Collection will distribute strains to users who agree to these conditions.
4.4 Click Submit ordering form button. Your order will be completed. Confirmation e-mail from the NIES-Collection will be sent to your registered e-mail address.

  Print two copies of the ‘Ordering form and agreement for distribution’ by clicking   Print this page button, sign and send by air-mail the two original documents to the address below.
If you are a student / part-timer, the NIES-Collection requests a signature of your supervisor / employer.  
Please note that we can ship the strain(s) only after we receive two original copies (with the user’s signature and date) of the “Ordering form and agreement for distribution”.
Order by regular mail

We will accept your order by regular mail (air-mail, FedEex…). Requests to the NIES-Collection for strains shall be made by completing the “Strain Ordering and Agreement Form”, and by sending two original copies via air-mail to the following address. After being signed by the administrator at the NIES, one copy of the “Strain Ordering and Agreement Form” will be sent back to the user. If the user is a student or a part-time employee, the documents should be named and signed by his/her supervisor or employer. Requests by e-mail and fax and online orders are available, but in any requests to the NIES-Collection for strains two original copies of the “Strain Ordering and Agreement Form” with the user’s signature (and supervisor’s/employer’s signature, if needed) and date are necessary. We will ship the strain only after reception of the two signed original copies of the “Strain Ordering and Agreement Form” sent by air-mail.

Address : Microbial Culture Collection,
  National Institute for Environmental Studies,
16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, JAPAN
  Tel: +81-29-850-2556
Fax: +81-29-850-2587
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2.2. Receipt of the strain

Within 1 month of the strain reception, the user is asked to complete and return to the NIES-Collection the “Strain Receipt Form” ( PDF / Word ) .

3. Price and payment

3.1. Price

3.1.1. Strain price

  Universities, public institutions Companies, commercial organizations
About 10 mL aliquot of
culture strain
6,000 JPY 10,000 JPY

International order from overseas: shipping cost will be charged in addition to the strain price. See also “3.3. Payment” about bank transfer fee.
Domestic order in Japan: the sales tax (8%) and shipping cost will be charged in addition to the strain price.

3.1.2. Shipping cost

An estimation of the shipping cost for one strain is indicated in the table below. The shipping cost will depends on the final weight. Note that the final exact shipping cost is quoted in the invoice together with the strain fee.

Shipping cost for one strain
Asia Oceania. North America.
Central America. The Middle East
Europe South America. Africa
1,400 JPY 2,000 JPY 2,200 JPY 2,400 JPY

Packages are usually sent by EMS. Please check EMS website to make sure that your area is under delivery. If not, the only alternatives are FedEx or DHL services. Please, send us your FedEx or DHL account identification number to prepare the shipping.
Note that the quickest delivery to USA, is by using FedEx. Upon your specific request we can send packages via FedEx; simply send us your FedEx account identification number.

ATTENTION: if your location is not included in the EMS delivery area and you cannot use FedEx or DHL, we may not be able to proceed to your order. Please, contact us for confirmation.

3.2. For USA customers

The NIES-Microbial Culture Collection being a national institution of Japan does not fall under the requirement to fill the form W-8BEN-E (Certificate of Foreign status of beneficial owner for United States Tax Withholding). Please, make sure with your own administration that the payment procedure can be done without the form W-8BEN-E.

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3.3. Payment

For the international order, the invoice with the payment details is included inside the package together with the strain. Note that if your order is send in several parts, this invoice will be placed in the last parcel only.
We accept only Japanese Yen. Please, make sure to do the payment before the due date by bank transfer according to the invoice bank references. Bank transfer fee is under your charge. We are sorry but we cannot accept the credit card payment.

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4. Special notes regarding distribution

4.1. "Fragile species to transportation stresses"

You are going to order one or more culture strains which are "Fragile species to transportation stresses". This mention means that cells can easily die during transportation. The ordered cultures may or may not recover from the transportation stresses, regardless our care.
Before finalizing your order, consider this risk and decide if you still purchase the strain labeled as "Fragile species to transportation stresses". Kindly understand that you will have to pay for the order even if the ordered cultures do not survive to the transportation.

Do not hesitate to contact us to try to find the best compromise for your order of "fragile species".

Ordering "Fragile species to transportation stresses" means "no replacement" in case of failure, you will have to place a new order if you still wish to try a new chance.

4.2. "Fragile species to temperature changes"

Some strains are more sensitive to temperature changes than others, restriction during severe seasons might occur.

4.3. "Unstable" strains

Strains are sometimes not available if their growth is poor at that time, and are usually difficult to maintain permanently at the MCC-NIES.

4.4. "Cryopreserved" strains

Most of the cyanobacterial strains and some of the green and red algal strains are preserved only in liquid nitrogen. These cryopreserved strains are indicated in the Remarks column of the list of strains. Cryopreservation is necessary for long-term preservation of these strains in culture collections, preventing contamination during repetitive transfer and genetic changes by mutation (Day & DeVille, 1995). Now, the NIES-Collection holds ca. 800 strains only in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen. Frozen cells of these cryopreserved strains are thawed and inoculated into fresh medium just after the order is accepted. As a result, it takes at least 1 month for overseas shipping of these strains.

Day, J. G. & DeVille, M. M. 1995 Cryopreservation of algae (Chapter 9), In Day J.G. & McLellan M.R. (eds.), Methods in Molecular Biology Vol. 38, Cryopreservation and Freeze-Drying Protocols, p.81-89, Humana Press, Totowa, USA.

4.5. Toxic strains

Strains that have been reported to produce toxic substance are indicated as “toxic” in the list of strains. Users who order these strains must confirm and appreciate its implications before use of the strain, even if the user’s purpose is not relevant to the strain’s toxic characteristics.

4.6. Distribution of strains shared with TISTR

We distribute those strains shared with TISTR (Microbiological Resource Centre, Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research) for educational and research purposes only. For these strains, TISTR strain numbers are also indicated in the “Other collection strain no.” in the list of strains

4.7. Distribution of strains collected outside Japan since 1993

Distribution of some strains collected and isolated outside Japan since 1993 is now suspended pursuant to the Convention on Biological Diversity, although the strain data are available in the catalog. Please contact the staff of the NIES-Collection if you wish to request these strains.

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5. Distribution to NIES researchers

Strains are available to NIES researchers without charge. Please complete two original copies “Strain Ordering and Agreement Form” and send it via in-house mail or pass it on to the staff directly. Online ordering is also available. The “Strain Ordering and Agreement Form” is also required for online orders by NIES researchers.

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