Culture Collections

DNA barcoding for animal cell lines


DNA barcoding will determine the species of a cell line. It involves amplifying and sequencing mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA shows 5–10-fold more differences between species than nuclear DNA. The genetic analysis of mitochondrial genome sequences is simpler than the analysis of nuclear DNA because only a single PCR and sequencing reaction are normally required; mitochondrial DNA shows only very low within-species variation.

How to submit samples

Complete these two forms:

And send to us prior to arranging shipment of samples. Once the forms have been received, reviewed and accepted, you will be issued with a reference number that must be quoted on your samples and in all future correspondence. You will need to provide a purchase order number. 

Flasks and ampoules should be packed and transported according to UN602 regulations. If you use a courier service to ship your samples, please contact them for advice on their own approved packaging. ECACC will be happy to return any packaging to you for re-use.

Parcels should be addressed to: QC Testing Department, Culture Collections, UK Health Security Agency, Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 0JG, UK. Please email us once you have sent your samples. 

DNA samples:

  • DNA should be sent in an o-ring sealed centrifuge tube. If an o-ring sealed tube is not available, then seal the tube lid with Parafilm to avoid leakage or loss of liquid by evaporation

  • DNA should be at a concentration of 10ng/µl and a minimum volume of 50µl

  • DNA should be sent on ice packs

Growing cultures samples:

  • growing cultures should be sent in flasks topped up with medium. The flask cap should be of the non-vented variety and wrapped e.g. in Parafilm, to prevent leakage

  • growing cultures for STR profiling (human cell lines only) can be sent as a viable culture with at least 2 x 106 cells per container

Frozen cultures samples:

  • a handling fee will be charged to cover costs of establishing the cell lines in culture where required (not relevant to samples for STR profiling where the DNA can be extracted from frozen ampoules containing at least 2 x 106 cells/amp)

  • details of the cell line growth media and culture conditions must be supplied. Where specialised media or supplements are used you may be asked to supply sufficient quantities to establish the lines in culture

PBS washed cell pellets samples:

  • phosphate buffered saline (PBS) washed pellets submitted for STR profiling must contain at least 2 x 106 cells


Price: £95 per sample

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