The Szczecin Diatom Culture Collection was established in 2013 and is hosted by the Palaeoceanography Unit (Faculty of Geosciences, University of Szczecin) under the leadership of Professor Andrzej Witkowski and his team. Collection facilities have been established through funding by grant no. N/2012/04/A/ST10/00544 of the National Science Centre, Cracow, Poland.


The collection is still expanding and currently includes over 1800 diatom strains. The vast majority of  isolates are benthic species from the marine littoral zone from the various localities, in particular from the coasts of Atlantic and Indian Oceans and its marginal seas and the western Pacific.

The aims of the Szczecin Diatom Culture Collection (SZCZ) are to:
– study the phylogeny and taxonomy of marine benthic diatoms using a multigene (SSU, rbcL, psbC) approach:
– study the biodiversity of brackish-water and marine diatom assemblages, including extremely small-celled taxa that escape the observation during routine diatomological analyses
– study the geographical distribution of brackish-water and marine diatom taxa
– investigate the life cycle and sexual reproduction patterns in diatoms,
– conduct ecophysiological experiments,
– assess the suitability of different diatom strains for biodiesel production and the design of biomaterials.


Diatom strains are kept in plastic Petri dishes in artificial media (WC freshwater culture medium or f/2 marine culture medium). Each registered strain has an individual number. DNA is extracted from harvested strains for molecular genetic characterization and cleaned frustules are preserved for light microscopical (LM) and electron microscopical (EM) examination. LM and EM images are provided.

All diatom strains in the SZCZ Diatom Culture Collection are freely accessible for the scientific community, in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration.

For more information please contact:

Director of the SZCZ Diatom Culture Collection:
Prof. Dr. Andrzej Witkowski

Dr Przemysław Dąbek

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