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Nostoc sp.


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Product category
Strain designation
PCC 7120
Type strain
Genome sequenced strain
Isolation source
Derived from existing strain
Product format
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
Conjugation host
Produces hydrogenase
Produces restriction endonuclease AspCI
Produces restriction endonuclease AspCII
Transformation host
Transformation host that has been used as a partner in biparental conjugation with a strain of Escherichia coli carrying a shuttle vector and providing all functions necessary for the transfer of that vector
Produces two distinct hydrogenases
Bacteriophage host


Nitrogenase activity in isolated heterocysts
Rna polymerase
Uv-inducible DNA repair
Genome sequenced strain

Handling information

Under light intensity of 2,000-3,000 lux; Protocol: as growth medium
Handling procedure
1. Open vial according to enclosed instructions.                             

2. Using a single tube of #616 broth (5 to 6 ml), withdraw approximately 0.5 to 1.0 ml with a Pasteur or 1.0 ml pipette.  Rehydrate the entire pellet. 

3. Aseptically transfer this aliquot back into the broth tube.  Mix well.

4. Use several drops of the suspension to inoculate a second tube of broth and a #616 slant. 

5. Incubate tubes at 26oC under 2000-3000 LUX light.  It is helpful to incubate test tubes in a slanted position to increase gas exchange in broth and to enhance exposure to light. 

Handling notes
Good growth, indicated by increased pigmentation in the broth or on the slant, should occur after one to two weeks of incubation.  Examine cells microscopically to assure that they are intact and healthy.  At this time additional test tubes or flasks can be inoculated.  A 5% inoculum is recommended (i.e. 5.0 ml of culture to 100.0 ml fresh medium).

          To minimize change in a culture, it is recommended that a frozen seed stock be established from early passage cells.  This may be accomplished by propagating the strain under ideal conditions, utilizing recommended medium, temperature and light.  Prepare a concentrated cell suspension, after good growth is achieved.  If grown in broth, pellet the cells by centrifugation.  Decant the supernatant and resuspend the pellet in fresh #616 broth using 1/10 or less of the original volume.  For slant cultures, wash cells off the agar surface with a minimal amount of #616 broth so that a concentrated cell suspension is attained.  Add 50% DMSO solution to the concentrated cell suspension so that the final concentration of DMSO in the suspension is 5%.  Dispense small aliquots (0.5 to 1 ml) of the suspension into small sterile vials.  Store the vials at -50oC or below.

          When needed, remove vials from storage, thaw contents in a 37oC water bath and inoculate into recommended medium.  A minimum of 0.2 ml of the thawed stock should be used to inoculate 5.0 ml of broth or one agar slant.

Quality control specifications

Verification method
Whole-genome Sequencing


Deposited as
Anabaena sp.
RY Stanier
Chain of custody
ATCC <-- RY Stanier <-- R. Haselkorn <-- Iowa State Univ. (Nostoc muscorum)
Cross references
GenBank U55386 Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 HetC (hetC) gene, complete cds; and unknown gene.
GenBank BA000019 Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 DNA, complete genome.

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.


Frequently Asked Questions


Curated Citations

Houchins JP, Burris RH. Occurrence and localization of two distinct hydrogenases in the heterocystous Cyanobacterium anabaena sp. strain 7120. J. Bacteriol. 146: 209-214, 1981. PubMed: 6783614

Rippka R, et al. Generic assignments, strain histories and properties of pure cultures of cyanobacteria. J. Gen. Microbiol. 111: 1-61, 1979.

Duyvesteyn MG, et al. Sequence-specific endonucleases in strains of Anabaena and Nostoc. Arch. Microbiol. 134: 276-281, 1983.

Privalle LS, Burris RH. D-erythrose supports nitrogenase activity in isolated Anabaena sp. strain 7120 heterocysts. J. Bacteriol. 157: 350-356, 1984. PubMed: 6229527

Levine E, Thiel T. UV-inducible DNA repair in the cyanobacteria Anabaena spp. J. Bacteriol. 169: 3988-3993, 1987. PubMed: 3114232

View All Curated Citations for this Product

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