BURR Culture Collection

We maintain approximately 750 Symbiodinium cultures, representing the most of the currently described Symbiodinium clades. Many of the zooxanthellae were isolated fro adult cnidarians from the Caribbean and Pacific (scleractinian, anemones, octocorals, and clams.) However the vast majority of our cultures were isolated from newly infected polyps. In addition to multiple isolates fro the more common Symbiodinium clades A, B and C, we have cultures of Clade D, E, and F. Since algae that are isolated in culture are often not representative of the host Santos et al 2001, our goal is to screen each culture in the collection to determine if the cultured algae are representative of the algae within the host.

Once a culture is characterized (i.e., we know it is representative of the in hospite symbiont community and where to place it in a phylogenetic sense), the culture provides a source for development and screening of markers, enables us to examine within host diversity of these symbionts and provide a valuable resource for the scientific community in a range of studies in function of the symbiosis and the symbiont physiology. Many of these cultures are available and all will be deposited at National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota. as the characterization is completed. Please click here for a complete list of our cultures.

We are continuously expanding our collection through the isolation of Symbiodinium from adult tissue and to date we have approximately 200 new isolates that we are bringing into culture.

New cultures will be added to the list as they are moved into the permanent collection.

Ordering Cultures

We charge a nominal fee of $90 per culture and a $13 administrative fee. These fees help to cover the cost of maintaining the culture collection which is unfunded. We also ask you to cover the shipping by providing an account number for FedEx or UPS.  If you are interested in obtaining cultures from the BURR Culture Collection, please select the cultures that you are interested in and then fill out and sign the transfer agreement (below) where you acknowledge that the cultures are not axenic and they are only to be used in the lab – not released into the field.  Please send to the transfer agreement and any questions to

List of Cultures
Culture Transfer Agreement

Symbiodinium culturing techniques

Growth Media
Antibiotic Cocktail
Methods of Symbiodinium isolation from coral tissue
Culturing Techniques