Culture Collections


The glossary is an alphabetical list of acronyms and terms related to our products.

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  • Ca2+

    Calcium ion

  • CAMR

    Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research is a previous name of the organisation based at Porton Down, Salisbury, UK. It was formerly MRE and subsequently part of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) which was subsumed into Public Health England in April 2013

  • CAPM

    Collection of Animal Pathogenic Micro-organisms, Brno, Czechoslovakia

  • CBS

    Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn, The Netherlands

  • CCEB

    Czechoslovak Collection of Entomogenous Bacteria(Institute of Entomology), Prague, Czechoslovakia

  • CCM

    Czechoslovak Collection of Microorganisms, J.E. Purkyne University, Brno, Czechoslovakia

  • CCTM

    Centre de Collection de Type Microbienne, Lille, France

  • CCUG

    Culture Collection of the University of Göteborg,Göteborg, Sweden

  • CDAI

    California Department of Animal Investigation, California, USA

  • CDC

    Centers for Disease Control (formerly Communicable Disease Center), Atlanta, Georgia , USA

  • CDN

    Designation supplied by the PHLS at Cambridge

  • CEA

    Carcinoembryonic Antigen

  • CECT

    Coleccion Espanola de Cultivos Tipo, Valencia, Spain

  • Cell Culture

    Maintenance or cultivation of cells in vitro in which the cells are no longer organised into tissues. Origin tissue is disassociated by cell migration or mechanical or enzymic means.

  • Cell Cycle

    The series of activities that each cell goes through. There are 5 recognised phases of the cell cycle: G0 - rest phase, G1 - 1st gap phase where cells prepare to synthesise DNA and undego mass synthesis, S - cells synthesise DNA and double 2n to 4n, G2 - 2nd gap phase where the cells prepare to divide and M - mitosis.

  • Cell Generation Time

    The interval between consecutive divisions of a cell.

  • Cell Hybridisation

    The fusion of two or more dissimilar cells leading to the formation of a synkaryon.

  • Cell Line

    A cell line arises from a primary culture of the first successful sub-culture. The term cell line implies that cultures from it consist of lineages of cells originally present in the primary culture. The terms finite or continuous are used as prefixes if the status of the culture is known. If not, the term line will suffice. The term 'continuous line' replaces the term 'established line'. In any published description of a culture, one must make every attempt to publish the characterization or history of the culture. If such has already been published, a reference to the original publication must be made. In obtaining a culture from another laboratory, the proper designation of the culture, as originally named and described, must be maintained and any deviations in cultivation from the original must be reported in any publication.

  • Cell Phase

    A description of the stage of growth that a cell population is in. There are 4 recognised phases: Lag Phase - where there is no net increase in cell number as the cells adapt to their environment, Log/Exponential Phase - where the population increases exponentially, Plateau - no net increase in cell numbers as the limits of space, nutrients and other factors are reached and Death/Decline Phase - where there is a net decrease in the population as the cells begin to die. Cell phases are pictorially represented as a growth curve.

  • Cell Strain

    A cell strain is derived either from a primary culture or a cell line by the selection or cloning of cells having specific properties or markers.

  • CERL

    See ERL

  • CFI

    Florida State Health Department, Florida, USA

  • Chemically Defined Medium

    A nutritive solution for culturing cells in which each component is specifiable and, ideally, is of known chemical structure.

  • CIP

    Collection de l'Institut Pasteur (see also CNCM), Paris, France

  • CIPL

    Collection de l'Institut Pasteur, Lyon, France

  • CL

    NCTC (Computer Laboratory, e.g. CL34/78), strain originally received for identification

  • Clonality

    The extent to which one clone is similar to another.

  • CN

    Wellcome Collection of Bacteria, Burroughs Wellcome Research Laboratories, Beckenham, Kent , UK

  • CNCM

    Collection Nationale de Cultures de Micro-organismes (formerly CIP), Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

  • CO2

    Carbon Dioxide

  • Col Sal

    Salmonella Reference Laboratory (Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens), HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK

  • Colony Forming Efficiency

    The percentage of cells plated (seeded, inoculated) that form a colony. Also known as plating efficiency.

  • Conditioned Medium

    Medium containing growth factors secreted by other cells.

  • Confluency

    The percentage to which adherent cells cover the substrate (eg Flask). Note that cells should regularly be subcultured at around 60-70% confluency but please refer to the cell line data sheet or catalogue information as some cell lines do not reach this level of confluency.

  • Contact Inhibition

    The property of a cell to cease division when in contact with neighbouring cells or when growing in restricted space

  • Continuous Cell Culture

    A culture that is apparently capable of an unlimited number of population doublings; often referred to as an immortal cell culture. Such cells may or may not express the characteristics of in vitro neoplastic or malignant transformation. (See also 'immortalisation' )

  • CPE

    Cytopathic effect caused by viral infection of cell lines, causing the morphology to change.

  • CPHL

    Central Public Health Laboratory, now HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK

  • CRC

    Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, UK

  • Cross Contamination

    When one cell culture has been introduced to another giving rise to a mixed cell population. If once cell type grows more vigorously than the other then that cell type will prevail.

  • Cryopreservation

    Ultra-low temperature storage of cells, tissues, embryos or seeds. This storage is usually carried out in the vapour or liquid phase of nitrogen.

  • CS

    Calf Serum


    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia


    Collection de l'Unite d'Ecotoxicologie Microbienne,Villeneuve d'Ascq, France

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that this information is accurate and up-to-date. We accept no responsibility for errors and omissions.

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