Member holdings

As of December 2021, the collection overall comprises 1440 available live non-axenic strains, split between 1095 cyanobacteria and 345 eukaryotic micro¬algae. Many strains are also cryoconserved. Most strains were isolated from freshwater ecosystems in France and Europe.Recent adds also include strains from hypersaline and extreme environments. Notably, the collection contains multiple strains of various genera of bloom-forming cyanobacteria that are of major ecological concern, some of which produce cyanotoxins.

Services offered

The collection of cyanobacteria and microalgae is a public culture collection accessible to research scientists worldwide. It is a member of the World Data Centre for Microorgan­isms (#792). Sample or strain requests have to be submitted through the COLHELPER portal ( on which users must create an account. It provides various services to public and private institutions (public or confidential deposit; reference strains for teaching, research, industry, ecotoxicological expertise, arts…).


Founded in 1928, the collection was research-oriented since its establishment. It contributes to biodiversity, taxonomy, ecology, genomics, and bioactive compounds research. The activities are continuously supported by research activities of the host institution and laboratory, that include characterization of new cyanobacteria in various environments, genomics, bioactive compounds research, microbial ecology and ecotoxicology.

Novel strategies for strain identification, conservation and accessibility are be­ing implemented to provide an up-to-date resource to the community.

The collection benefits from various platforms available at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (genomics, imaging…).

A full description is available in this paper:

Hamlaoui S, Yeprémian C, Duval C, Marie B, Djédiat C, Piquet B, Bernard C, Duperron S(2022) The culture collection of cyanobacteria and microalgae at the French museum of Natural history: a century old but still alive and kicking! CryptogamieAlgologie 43(3):41-83 DOI: 10.5252/cryptogamie-algologie2022v43a3

Quality Management System

The collection is part of a consortium of collection of live cells at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle that is currently undergoing certification as a Biological Resource Center.