In some instances, UTEX can use microscopy to identify algal strains to the genus level. However, this is generally not possible if dealing with strains lacking adequate morphological keys -- non-flagellated, unicellular, coccoid green algae for example. Alternatively, UTEX can use DNA sequence comparisons to identify algal strains based on similarity to sequences available in the The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database. We are often able to identify algae to the level of species using this method. We use rDNA sequences for these analyses: 18s, 5.8s, ITS1, and/or ITS2 for eukaryotic algae and 23s and ITS for cyanobacteria.
Visit the UTEX Strain Identification page for additional information, current prices, and/or to submit a strain identification request.