Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where can I find more information on a particular strain?

    All information we have on a strain can be found on our homepage. This information may be found by conducting a catalogue search using the DSM number or species name. In the list of strains found clicking on the DSM number will take you to the complete strain information. Further details can be found with the help of the literature references given in the individual strain entries (marked with a hyperlink). Please, use these for more detailed strain information.

  • How do I know the history of a strain?

    The history of a strain (known to the DSMZ) can be found on our homepage in the individual strain entries. The information is given in chronological order, with the most recent holder of the strain to the left, the oldest holder of the strain to the right.

  • Which growth conditions are recommended by the DSMZ for a particular strain?

    All catalogue entries on our homepage indicate the cultivation conditions recommended by the DSMZ. These include both the medium and temperature used in the DSMZ for cultivating the strain. We recommend that only these cultivation conditions be used when initially re-activating a freeze-dried strain or for the initial sub-culturing of an actively growing strain. This information may be found by conducting a catalogue search using the DSM number or species name. In the list of strains found clicking on the DSM number will take you to the complete strain information. Special tips for cultivating certain groups of organisms can be found under “Culture Technology”.
    Example strain information

  • What is a type strain and how is this documented in the DSMZ catalogue?

    A type strain is defined in the “International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria” as the “nomenclatural type of the species”, and is the "reference point" to which all other strains are compared to know whether they belong to that species. When conducting a catalogue search, in the list of strains found, a type strain has a green tick mark in the column “type strain”. Clicking on the DSM number will take you to the complete strain information (including growth medium, temperature, literature etc.) and here the wording “type strain” appears in the “summary and additional information” if the strain is a type strain.

  • Why are there sometimes two risk groups stated for one organism: according to TRBA and ZKBS?

    In some cases the ZKBS (Central Committee on Biological Safety), the responsible organ for the classification of biological material in connection with genetic engineering, classifies an organism differently than the TRBA (Technical Rules for Biological Agents). The DSMZ wants to inform its customers about an allocation in a higher risk group to make them aware that the organism might pose a higher risk than its legal allocation according to the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) implies.

  • A DSM number is cited in the literature but we cannot find the strain on the homepage. What is the reason?

    One reason may be that the strain has been lost or, after publication of the description, turned out not to show the characters given for the taxon. Another reason may be that the strain was deposited for patent purposes. These strains and their data are kept confidential by the DSMZ. If you have the well-founded guess that the latter is true for your strain in question you may contact Dr. Felizitas Bajerski or Dr. Kathrin Felsch. They will give details on how to obtain a culture of the strain.