We are planning to send an ecoli strain to another lab. What is the appropriate way to do so. No MTA is required but the options seem to be using filter paper or sending a glycerol stock on dry ice.

  • $\begingroup$ Is the lab in the same country? I am asking because international (and more so intercontinental) shipping on dry ice can be a major pain. $\endgroup$ – nico Jun 28 '12 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ Good for you (I can tell you, sending samples on dry ice from Europe to Australia did quickly turn into a bureaucracy nightmare! :D) $\endgroup$ – nico Jun 28 '12 at 18:45

I believe Addgene send strains as bacterial stabs.

This is the protocol from Qiagen.

E. coli strains can also be stored for up to 1 year as stabs in soft agar. Stab cultures are used to transport or send bacterial strains to other labs. Prepare stab cultures as follows:

  1. Prepare and autoclave LB agar (standard LB medium containing 0.7% agar) as described in the last issue of QIAGEN News (1).

  2. Cool the LB agar to below 50°C (when you can hold it comfortably) and add the appropriate antibiotic(s). While the agar is still liquid, add 1 ml agar to a 2-ml screw-cap vial under sterile conditions, then leave to solidify.

Vials of agar can be prepared in batches and stored at room temperature until required.

  1. Using a sterile straight wire, pick a single colony from a freshly streaked plate and stab it deep down into the soft agar several times (Figure 1).

4. Incubate the vial at 37°C for 8–12 h leaving the cap slightly loose.

  1. Seal the vial tightly and store in the dark, preferably at 4°C.

When recovering a stored strain, it is advisable to check the antibiotic markers by streaking the strain onto a selective plate.

I believe if the shipping is <24hrs you could send a stab in ice.

Hope that helps



I think the best way is to use lyophilization. The American Type Culture Collection send the strains that way.


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