Elevando la calidad y producción científica en las ciencias biológicas y preservación de los recursos naturales.

Marine Dinoflagellate Collection


CODIMAR Historical Background


Harmful algal blooms (HABs) affect human and environmental health, as well as economic activities, such as fishing, aquaculture, and tourism. To predict and minimize the effects of HABs, offices of UNESCO have created interdisciplinary research programs to define biological and adaptive characteristics that determine when and where they occur and produce harmful effects. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to isolate and maintain strains of harmful microalgae and establish a reference collection.

To support international and research agencies dealing with HABs, our proposal to establish the first taxonomic and collection of dinoflagellates in Mexico was approved by CONACYT in 2000 and was open to the research public at this website in February 2004.

In February 2004, CODIMAR was formally recorded in the Public and Private Registry for Museography and Scientific Collection of Wild Species (code BCS-ALG-161-0104) and in the Registry of Service Providers marketing specimens, parts, and derivatives of wildlife (code SGPA-DGVS-COM-081-D.F.) of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico. On May 16, 2007, the Director General of CIBNOR, Dr. Sergio Hernández Vázquez, appointed Dr. Lourdes Morquecho Escamilla as Curator of CODIMAR.

In 2014, we finished the task of archiving the database (project JC006) to formalize registration of CODIMAR in the National Biodiversity Information System of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) of Mexico as an agency that maintains scientific collections of pests that affect human health. The funding received for this project has helped to improve curatorial quality of strains and renew infrastructure, which ensures CODIMAR operability of the next decade.

At present, the collection includes the main harmful species of dinoflagellates in Mexico. With technical assistance provided by a former student, the collection has several strains collected from the northwestern coast of Cuba. The main function of the collection is to provide dinoflagellate strains to the national and international scientific and academic community for research and education (see Table 1).

Table 1. Scientific institutions that have requested strains from CODIMAR (2004–2016).

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR)

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics (Department of Fisheries Ecology)

Laboratory of Pigments (Department of Environmental Planning and Conservation)

Laboratory of Microbial Pathogenesis (Department of Aquaculture)

BioHelis, Technological Innovation Park

Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas–Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN)

Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos del Mar, N° 11 (CETMAR)

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Campus Iztapalapa and Cuajimalpa

Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (ICMyL-UNAM), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados–Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV)

Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC)

Universidad Autónoma de Campeche (UAC)


School of Plant and Science, University of Tasmania (UTAS)


School of Marine Sciences and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook (SBU)

Marine Biotoxins Program, National Ocean Service, CCEIHBR (NOAA)

Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS)


The Open University of Hong Kong