Tetrahymena pigmentosa Nanney and McCoy (ATCC® 205033)

Strain Designations: UI 7152  /  Depositor: DL Nanney, EM Simon  /  Biosafety Level: 1

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Strain Designations UI 7152
Biosafety Level 1

Biosafety classification is based on U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines, it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that their facilities comply with biosafety regulations for their own country.

Colorado, United States
Isolation date: 1971
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, 1971
Product Format test tube
Type Strain no
Genotype III/III
Tetrahymena pigmentosa ssp. 6
Medium ATCC® Medium 357: Tetrahymena medium
Growth Conditions
Max Temperature: 27.0°C
Min Temperature: 15.0°C
Duration: axenic
RM-9 Media for cryopreservation of Tetrahymena

Proteose Peptone (Difco 0120)                                     5.0 g

Tryptone                                                                              5.0 g

K2HPO4                                                                                                                        0.2 g

Glucose                                                                               1.0 g

Liver extract                                                                        0.1 g

Glass distilled water                                                         1.0 L

Dissolve components in glass distilled H2O and autoclave.

Dryl’s Salt Solution

0.1 M NaH2PO4 3H20                                                                              10.0 ml

0.1 M Na2HPO4 .  7H20                                                                              10.0 ml

0.1 M Sodium citrate . 2H20                                           15.0 ml

0.1 M CaCl2 2H20                                                          15.0 ml

Distilled water                                                               950.0 ml

Add the first 3 components to the distilled H2O and mix thoroughly.

Add the CaC12  solution and mix thoroughly.

(Adding the solutions in the order indicated will avoid the precipitation of Ca salts.)

1.  Transfer tetrahymena from usual growth medium to RM-9 medium and allow to grow to near peak density.

2.   Harvest cells from a culture by centrifugation at 300 x g for 2 min.          

3.   Adjust concentration of cells to 2 x 106/ml in fresh


4.   While cells are centrifuging, prepare a 22% (v/v) sterile

solution of sterile DMSO in fresh medium.

a) Add 2.2 ml of DMSO to an ice cold 20 x 150 mm screw-capped test tube;

b) Place the tube on ice and allow the DMSO to solidify (~5 min) and then add 7.8 ml of ice cold medium;

c) Invert several times to dissolve the DMSO;

d) Allow to warm to room temperature.

5.   Add a volume of the DMSO solution equal to the cell

      suspension volume but add in 3 equal aliquots at 2 min

      intervals. Thus, the final concentration of the preparation

      will equal 11% (v/v) DMSO and 106 cells /ml.

6.   Dispense in 0.5 ml aliquots into 1.0 - 2.0 ml sterile plastic

      screw-capped cryules (special plastic vials for       cryopreservation).

7.   Place the ampules in a controlled rate freezing unit. The

cooling cycle should be initiated no less than 15 min and no longer than 60 min after the addition of the DMSO to the cell preparation. From room temperature cool at -1°C/min to -40°C. If freezing unit can compensate for the heat of fusion, maintain rate at -1°C/min through heat of fusion. At  -50°C ampules are plunged into liquid nitrogen.

8.   Store in the vapor or liquid phase of a nitrogen


9.   To establish a culture from the frozen state aseptically add 0.5 ml sterile Dryl's Salt Solution to an ampule. Immediately place the ampule in a 35°C water bath, until thawed (2-3 min).  Immerse the ampule just sufficient to cover the frozen material. Do not agitate the ampule.

10. Immediately after thawing, aseptically remove the contents of the ampule and inoculate into 5.0 ml of fresh medium in a 16 x 125 mm screw-capped test tube with a slightly loosened cap. Incubate at 25°C.


Alternative Thawing Procedure

 1.  Aseptically  add 0.5 ml of sterile modified PYNFH medium (ATCC Medium 1034) containing 8% (w/v) sucrose to the ampule.  Immediately, place in a 35°C water bath, until thawed. Immerse the ampule just sufficient to cover the frozen material. Do not agitate the ampule.

2.   Immediately after thawing, aseptically remove the contents of the ampule and gently add the material to the edge of a 20 x 100 mm petri plate containing ATCC Medium 919 (non-nutrient agar) and position on a 15 degree slant.  The cell suspension will pool at the edge of the plate.

3.   Continue to double the volume of the cell suspension at 10

minute intervals by adding ATCC medium 1034) containing 4% sucrose (w/v).  When the volume reaches 16.0 ml place the plate in horizontal position and incubate at 25°C. 

4.   On the following day, gently remove the cell suspension for the plate and transfer to a T-25 tissue culture flask.  Note the volume of the suspension and add a volume of fresh medium containing 4% sucrose equal to the volume of  the cell suspension.  Incubate the culture at 25°C.

5.   After culture has been established subculture into fresh

      normal medium without sucrose. 

Name of Depositor DL Nanney, EM Simon
Special Collection National Park Service Special Collection (NPS)
Chain of Custody
ATCC <<--DL Nanney, EM Simon<<--F.P. Doerder
Geographical Isolation Rocky Mountain National Park
Year of Origin 1971

Simon EM, Doerder FP. The unique position of the degenerating macronucleus in Tetrahymena tropicalis. J. Protozool. 28: 203-205, 1981.

Nanney DL, et al. Isoenzymic characterization of three mating groups of the Tetrahymena pyriformis complex. J. Protozool. 27: 451-459, 1980.

Nanney DL, et al. Comparison of sequence differences in a variable 23S rRNA domain among sets of cryptic species of ciliated protozoa. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 45: 91-100, 1998. PubMed: 9495037

Din N, Engberg J. Extrachromosomal ribosomal RNA genes in Tetrahymena: structure and evolution. J. Mol. Biol. 134: 555-574, 1979. PubMed: 537073

Meyer EB, Nanney DLIsozymes in the ciliated protozoan TetrahymenaIn: Meyer EB, Nanney DLIsozymes: Current topics in biological and medical research13New YorkAlan R. Liss Inc.61-101, 1987

Nielsen H, Engberg J. Functional intron+ and intron- rDNA in the same macronucleus of the ciliate Tetrahymena pigmentosa. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 825: 30-38, 1985. PubMed: 2986696

Nielsen H, et al. Updating rDNA restriction enzyme maps of Tetrahymena reveals four new intron-containing species. J. Protozool. 32: 480-485, 1985. PubMed: 2995652

Nielsen H, et al. Inheritance of the group I rDNA intron in Tetrahymena pigmentosa. Dev. Genet. 13: 133-142, 1992. PubMed: 1499155

Preparata RM, et al. Ciliate evolution: the ribosomal phylogenies of the tetrahymenine ciliates. J. Mol. Evol. 28: 427-441, 1989. PubMed: 2501504

Preparata RM, et al. Inheritance of acid phosphatase and NAD-malate dehydrogenase isozymes in Tetrahymena pigmentosa. J. Hered. 74: 251-259, 1983.

Ricci N. Ionic resistance in strains of the Tetrahymena pyriformis complex. J. Protozool. 28: 453-460, 1981.

Simon EM. Mating-type inheritance and maturity times in crosses between subspecies of Tetrahymena pigmentosa. Genetics 94: 93-113, 1980.

Simon EM, Orias E. Genetic instability in the mating type system of Tetrahymena pigmentosa. Genetics 117: 437-449, 1987. PubMed: 3692137

Notice: Necessary PermitsPermits

These permits may be required for shipping this product:

  • This material is distributed for scientific and educational research purposes only and is part of the National Park Service Special Collection. A signed National Park Service MTA is both required prior to shipment to customers proposing a non-commercial use. A separate agreement is required from the National Park Service for customers proposing a commercial use.
  • Customers located in the state of Hawaii will need to contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to determine if an Import Permit is required. A copy of the permit or documentation that a permit is not required must be sent to ATCC in advance of shipment.
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