Storing Cultures for the Long-Term using Stasis


Once you start collecting more than a few cultures the process of maintaining the culture becomes more and more tedious as time goes. There are a few best practices when maintaining a culture:

1. Don’t let the culture grow and completely engulf the entire petri dish! Contaminants are more likely to be by the outer edge.

2. A culture has a limited life span. Over time, the culture ages, just like you do. Its cells can only divide a certain number of times before it begins to weaken. This process is called Senescence.

3. You can slow down the growth of a culture by storing it at low temperatures, approximately 40F. This option is not always available and some cultures really don’t like to get cold. However this doesn’t solve the problems of the above 2 points.

4. Storing the spores of a culture is potentially another alternative, but there are still issues. Spores are a genetically diverse ways of storing a species/variety, but if you have a culture that is really successful, that you’ve spent a lot of work isolating, you don’t want to start over the next time you want to grow that species/variety.

A good solution to this problem is called Stasis! Stasis is the process of storing a living culture in the absence of nutrients and oxygen. This puts the culture into a state of suspended animation.

Benefits of Stasis:

1. Room temperature storage

2. Long term reliability (years and years)

3. Simple

This post was originally published on Nostr! Check it out here:


  • Distilled Water
  • Storage Vials
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Still Air Box/Flow Hood


Fill up your storage vials half-way with distilled water. Close them back up partially, but not all the way.

Wrap the vials together as a group in foil, and place into a mason jar.

Put the jar into the pressure cooker and cook at 15PSI for 30 minutes.

Take the jar out of the pressure cooker, and move to a sterile location. Let cool.

Go to tissue culture workstation and sanitize all petri dishes, tools, etc.

Using your scalpal, slice a small rectangular section of your petri dish, just like you might do for a transfer between two dishes.

Instead of moving the section to a new dish, quickly and carefully open up one of the vials and drop the slice into the water.

Close up the vial, label it as desired.


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