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We are now shipping live cells, plasmids, genomic DNA, and media packets, although shipping may take somewhat longer than normal. Contact us with any questions.

Ordering Tetrahymena Strains

Finding strains
The strains currently available for ordering from the Stock Center are listed here, or you can interactively search for specific information. If you do not see what you want, contact us or check again at a later date, since the list of available lines is updated as new strains are deposited.

Individual strains are $45 academic / $90 commercial, and the mating type panel is $200 / $400. Shipping varies by country and represents our cost to ship via FedEx Standard Overnight within the US and via FedEx International Priority outside the US.

These fees are not meant to be an impediment to research, so academic researchers and educators without funding should contact us.

Placing orders
To order strains, go to our online order form. The page will open in a new window so that you can search for strains in the original window and then paste stock ids into the order form.

Cells are shipped as live cultures via FedEx Standard Overnight to US addresses or FedEx International Priority overseas.

You may pay by purchase order, credit card (VISA or MasterCard), or wire transfer. We will include an invoice and a credit card slip with cells shipping to US locations. International orders will receive a PDF of the invoice and credit card slip via email.

If you wish to pay by credit card, fill out the slip and fax or mail it to us. Please do not send us your credit card information by email! If you wish to pay by wire transfer, email us for bank details.

Purchasing Growth Media

To help academic/non-profit researchers who only need to grow cells on a small scale, the Stock Center now provides Neff, PPY, and SPP proteose peptone media in non-sterile powder form. Each packet contains all of the ingredients, including a small vial of FeCl3, needed to make 1 liter. The modifed Neff medium is $20 / packet, and PPY/SPP are $28 / packet.

All three media support robust cell growth. Neff media has a lower proteose peptone content (0.25%) and initial growth is slightly slower, but cultures will hold for a longer period of time before crashing. PPY and SPP have a higher proteose peptone content (1% for PPY, 2% for SPP) and support faster initial growth. However, once stationary phase is reached, Neff cultures maintain longer than equivalent PPY/SPP cultures before crashing. Each of the media can support cultures of 1 - 2 x 106 cells/ml at 30°C in shaking flask cultures. The longer holding time makes Neff a useful medium for maintaining cultures in stock tubes, while PPY/SPP may be preferable for growing cultures when a more rapid growth rate is required. Tetrahymena thermophila strains with different genetic backgrounds may grow differently in the two media, and species other than Tetrahymena thermophila show varying growth optima, often growing more quickly and to higher densities in richer proteose peptone media.


To avoid precipitate formation when making the media, ingredients should be added to distilled water in the following order.

Tetrahymena are sensitive to very low levels of some types of impurities in the media. To prevent problems, high purity distilled or deionized water should be used in making all media, and dedicated glassware should be set aside solely for use in making and storing media. It is critical to ensure that no soap or acid residue remains on the surface of the glassware following washing.

Modified Neff medium

0.25% proteose peptone
0.25% yeast extract
0.5% glucose
33.3 μM FeCl3

Reference: Cassidy-Hanley, Donna, et al. "Germline and somatic transformation of mating Tetrahymena thermophila by particle bombardment." Genetics 146.1 (1997): 135-147.

PPY medium

1% proteose peptone
0.15% yeast extract
0.01 mM FeCl3

Reference: Smith DL and Doerder FP. 1992. "Multiple effects of mutation on expression of alternative cell surface protein genes in tetrahymena thermophila." Genetics 130(1):97-104.

SSP medium

2% proteose peptone
0.1% yeast extract
0.2% glucose
33 μM FeCl3

Reference: Gorovsky, Martin A., et al. "Isolation of micro-and macronuclei of Tetrahymena pyriformis." Methods in cell biology. Vol. 9. Academic Press, 1975. 311-327.

On the standard ordering form, fill in the billing/shipping information, then scroll down to the bottom of the form to enter the quantity of each medium you want. Click the submit button to complete your order.