Sending bacteria via mail

Michael Benedik benedik at
Thu Apr 25 11:45:12 EST 1996

In article <4lno5e$boq at>
a03m at (Georg Kroeger) writes:

> Dear Netters,
> someone told me about a simple method do prepare clones for sending by
> mail: spot some suspension culture on a sterile pice of whatman, dry
> (air dry or lyophylisate?) seal in a plastic bag - that's it. Put it
> in an envelope and off they go! To get the clones back, just throw the
> paper in liquid selective medium!
> Sounds very simple and easy to do!  Does anyone know about this
> method?

You basically have it correct. I just make little squares (1cm sq) of
whatman filter paper, or you can just use precut small round filters
(1-2cm) and wrap them in aluminum foil to make a small packet. I then
autoclave a bunch of these to sterilize. When I need to send a strain,
I open a packet up and spot a drop or two of my culture onto the filter
paper, then reseal the foil. I then wrap it up in plastic wrap or put
it in a small sealable plastic bag to keep it from drying out and mail
in a regular envelope. The recipient can just open up the packet and
with sterile tweezers pick up the filter disk and drop into a tube or
flask of broth to grow. 

Strains remain ok for days to weeks, but not longer, this way,
depending upon their resistance to dessication. 

Michael Benedik
Department of Biochemical Sciences
University of Houston
benedik at

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