Before placing an order for culture stocks, it is important to review policies of INVAM. These policies are meant to serve as guidelines, and they can be modified to optimally meet the needs of those requesting stocks without compromising benefits to the collection. Any deviations from “default” policies must to be worked out by email prior to a shipment.
Steps in organizing and placing an order:
- Search the INVAM culture database to find stock cultures of interest. For details (if available) on source information, search the accession database. The immediate availability of a culture is determined by the volume in storage, and this must be > 300 mL. For stocks with less volume, and the culture is absolutely essential, then we either will make an immediate effort to restart the culture (with a wait time of 100 days for good infectivity) or recommend an alternative culture with similar life history or ecological properties (depending on objective of the study).
- Assemble a list of stocks desired and send it via email to the INVAM curator at: email@example.com. Along with the list, include any other information important in stock selection, such as:
- Type of inoculum. Explanation of the options
- Amount of inoculum if it deviates from the standard 175-200 mL of whole inoculum OR spores (1000-1200 in a 2 mL vial).
- Deadline for receiving the package.
- Experimental conditions, if relevant, such as host plant (especially if a perennial woody plant species), soil pH, greenhouse/growth room temperature range, any light limitations.
- Complete mailing address For university locales, make sure there is a street address. A box office designation by itself is not sufficient.
- Contact telephone number (required by our carrier, UPS).
- Mail option if it departs from the standard protocol, which is two-day air by UPS or “Expedited” for UPS International.
- Method of payment Options are check, money order, or bank wire transfer.
- A reply email should be received within 72 hrs, with a draft invoice showing cost breakdown of the order (stocks + shipping estimate from UPS website). If no reply is received within 5 days, then kindly send a duplicate of the first email. With the unavoidable spam messages received each day (a pox on them all), your email message either may have been inadvertently deleted or erroneously routed to a spam folder which I empty each morning with a single mouse click. Also, during periods of high activity, I tend to be forgetful (its an age thing, I hope) or the email disappears due to “scroll down”.
- If there is any question of the quality of the culture, we will notify you be email and recommend a substitute strain of the species. If our records indicate potential problems with aggressiveness, sensitivity to environmental conditions, etc. with any requested strains, we will begin a dialog by email to affirm the choice or work to select an alternative isolate.
- Sign a Material Transfer Agreement which can either be mailed to us or scanned and returned by email.
- Upon shipment, the user will receive an email of the tracking number, from which the shipping route can be monitored on the United Parcel Service website.
- As a courtesy, we would like to receive a return email to notify us that the package has been received safely and in acceptable condition. Also notify us if there are any problems with a culture after it has been received, so that we can help with a resolution.
- An invoice will either be included with the package (U.S. clients only) or emailed (anyone). Prepayment is now required for international orders because mailing costs are so high and charges come directly out of our operating budget.