Sample preparation and SCGC service requests
To prepare environmental samples for analyses at SCGC, it is critical to properly cryopreserve them promptly after collection. Please refer to our recommended protocol for aquatic sample preservation.
Other types of samples (e.g. sediment, soil, etc.) first have to be treated to disperse cells into aquatic suspension. We strongly recommend using the simplest and fastest possible sample treatment, to minimize cell and DNA damage, such as a 1 minute-long vortexing in a neutral buffer of similar ionic strength as the environmental sample. Sterile-filtered seawater should be used to disperse marine sediments. Phosphate-buffered saline may be used for freshwater sediments, soils and intracellular symbionts.
To be suitable for processing at SCGC, samples should not contain substances that may compromise DNA quality (e.g. aldehydes), cell integrity, or subsequent staining/probing. Please prepare at least three, replicate vials. Please consult with SCGC personnel if you plan to conduct any sample processing prior to cryopreservation that is different from our recommendations. SCGC can also process unpreserved, live samples, in which case the timing of sample collection has to be adjusted to the SCGC cell sorting schedule, which is posted on the SCGC home page, News section. For samples with salinities above 35 psu, please include 10-50 mL of untreated sample, to be used for potential sample dilution prior to cell sorting.
When shipping samples to SCGC, please use FedEx overnight services and send the packages out on a Monday, to ensure that they arrive to Bigelow before the next weekend. Shipping out on a Friday for delivery early next week is also a good option. Please do not ship during or right before holidays in the US or the country of origin. Please use a styrofoam container enclosed in corrugated packaging (cardboard), and include at least 10 kg (20 lb) dry ice for domestic shipments or 20 kg (40 lb) dry ice for international shipments. Please place cryovials in some small container to protect them from potential mechanical damage during shipping.
IMPORTANT: Please e-mail parcel tracking number to email@example.com.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Attn: Brian Thompson
60 Bigelow Drive
East Boothbay, ME 04544
Tel: (202)-747-3255; Fax: (202) 747-3257