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REFERENCE NO: M/1999/1.00 Appendix 1

Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Collections of Cultures of Microorganisms, 2nd edition
(revised by the WFCC Executive Board).
Copyright: World Federation for Culture Collections, 1999 (ISBN 92 9109 043 3)



The World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) is a Federation of the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) and a commission of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) with responsibility for the promotion and development of collections of cultures of microorganisms and cultured cells. As such, it has an on-going concern with all aspects of culture collection activity and in particular with the encouragement of new initiatives and improvement in the standards of scientific services provided to the international user community.

The increasing demands on culture collections for authenticated, reliable biological material and associated information have parallelled the growth of biotechnology. More recently, worldwide recognition of the need to conserve the microbial gene pool for future study and exploitation by mankind has highlighted the need for centres of expertise in culture isolation, maintenance, identification and taxonomy. The Convention on Biological Diversity places additional demands on culture collections in terms of conservation and capacity building.

These demands have alerted the WFCC to the need for providing recommendations for good practice in culture collections so that new collections have guidance and existing collections have approved standards of operation to adhere to or endeavour to attain. As a result, the Federation has prepared these guidelines for use by all culture collections, whether major service collections or smaller research collections, with the purpose of promoting high standards of operation in all microbial resource centres.

It is hoped that the Guidelines prove valuable and encouraging. The WFCC wishes to emphasise that high standards of scientific service can be achieved in laboratories with modest resources and sophisticated equipment is not a prerequisite for good microbiological practice; the principles listed in the Guidelines may be applied to any culture collection regardless of size or economic standing.

Our thanks are extended to members of the WFCC Executive Board and Committees for their time and effort.

Vanderlei Canhos

President, World Federation for Culture Collections


These Guidelines are prepared by the WFCC to provide a framework for the establishment, operation and long-term support of microbiological and cell resource centres as a fundamental part of the scientific infrastructure.

The Guidelines describe:

The aims of culture collections

The services they provide to the international scientific community in terms of resources, information and specialist skills

The long-term support needed to enable them to provide these professional services, including appropriate operational facilities, staff levels to allow operation at a high standard, well trained staff with research expertise related to the aims of the collection

The contributions made by collections to the research knowledge base in terms of taxonomic studies, preservation, growth and handling procedures and other linked areas

The capability of collections to meet all relevant national and international regulations concerning the control, transportation and health and safety aspects of resource handling and distribution

The need to provide support and training in capacity building on a global basis

The need for international collaboration to enhance the value and quality of biological resources

References and Web sites



1. Introduction

2. Organization

3. Funding

4. Objectives

5. Holdings

6. Staff

7. Preservation

8. Deposit Procedures and Culture Authentication

9. Culture Supply

10 Publicity and Promotion

11. Other Services

12. Documentation and Computerisation

13. Catalogues

14. Research

15. Training

16. Safety and Quality Standards

17. National and International Collaboration

18. Selected Bibliography, Online Publications and Web Sites

19. Addresses



1.1 The last decade has seen a heightened awareness of the value of collections of cultures of microorganisms both in the conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity, and in providing the essential underpinning for emerging biotechnologically based projects and industries. Microbial resource centres are seen as essential elements for the support of scientific development both in the developed and the developing world.

1.2 Many countries and individual institutions are therefore establishing publicly supported culture collections of microorganisms for the first time, either to provide services to their country or region or in support of their own research programmes.

1.3 While a variety of publications offer advice on techniques and procedures (see 7.2), and some guidelines have been published for national (Nakamura, 1989) and specific regional purposes (Hawksworth & Schipper, 1989), no internationally approved set of guidelines covering all aspects of culture collection activity had been compiled until the first edition of this document was published by the WFCC in 1990.

1.4 The objective of these Guidelines is to provide assistance to those collections of microorganisms offering services outside their own institution (service collections), but it is anticipated that many of the guidelines will be equally applicable to in-house or research collections.

1.5 It is the hope of the WFCC that wherever possible service collections will adopt the Guidelines provided in this booklet to the best of their technical and economic ability. The Federation is pleased to receive information about the need for training and capacity building and will endeavour wherever possible to assist in arranging training courses or programmes through the work of its committees.


2.1 The parent organization or board under which a service collection is established should be fully aware of and accept the responsibilities inherent in maintaining a public service to appropriate standards. Commitment to the maintenance of the collection and its services in the long-term should be included in the strategic plans or objectives of the parent organization. In the case of existing collections, where this responsibility is not explicit, this aspect should be clarified with the Director of the parent institute, its Scientific Council, senior university officials, Governing Board, or other such authorities as may be appropriate.


3.1 Administration and funding arrangements for collections require a long-term commitment from the parent organization. Support solely in the form of short-term contracts and without any allocation of core funding is inappropriate for service collections providing long-term storage and supply services as part of the infrastructure supporting the biological sciences.

3.2 It is important to consider the level of funding, both now and likely to be forthcoming on an on-going basis. This must be adequate to provide the range of services being planned, and at a standard users would expect. If secure resources are limited, in general it is preferable to restrict the primary objectives of the collection to those for which there is a strong probability of long-term support.


4.1 Collections require a clearly summarized general statement of their long-term objectives relating to the scope of their holdings, and to the range of outside services that are envisaged.

4.2 In addition, it is often helpful for a collection to have more specific short-term objectives relating to the coming 1-, 3- or 5-year period. These can usefully include the numbers and groups of strains which it is planned to acquire in that time frame, and schedules for installing new facilities and equipment.

4.3 Where possible a mission statement in accordance with 4.1 and 4.2 should be prepared which is sufficiently short to reproduce in promotional and other material for distribution.


5.1 The scope of material and numbers of strains to be held requires careful consideration and merits discussion with the parent organization and any funding bodies concerned when the collection is being established, as this will have long-term financial implications.

5.2 In addition to decisions on the groups of microorganisms to be maintained and the numbers to be retained in the long term, it is also necessary to have a clearly defined accessions policy on which the acceptance of new strains offered to the collection are to be based. If this is not decided and many unsolicited strains are accepted uncritically without due regard to the collection's objectives, then storage capacity, personnel and financial resources can soon become overstretched. At the same time, the range should not be so strictly defined as to limit the effectiveness of the services provided to the users. A policy should be adopted that balances capability with scientific needs.

5.3 If strains are maintained that are potentially pathogenic to man, animals or plants, or that produce toxic or hallucinogenic compounds, those holdings should be clearly labelled and kept secure. Adherence to safety and control regulations, whether institutional, national or international, is mandatory.

5.4 Collections vary substantially in scope with regard to the groups of microorganisms held, geographical emphasis, and user-group orientation. It is beneficial to stress at the outset areas in which it is planned to strengthen holdings. This will be of the utmost value to both potential depositors of strains and those wishing to acquire strains or requiring other professional services.

5.5 In considering which strains to maintain, it is economically prudent to aim at complementing rather than duplicating those already available through other service collections. While it may be desirable for many collections to hold important internationally recognized reference, standard or test strains, the WFCC wishes to discourage the unnecessary use of scarce resources. Wherever possible, new collections of microorganisms should reflect the diversity of microbial genetic resources rather than the duplication those already existing.

However, in many countries the cost of shipping strains from overseas collections is prohibitive and the duplication of some material is acceptable in order to overcome such economic burdens. The culture collection community has a history of sharing scientifically important strains and the WFCC wishes to see this culture maintained in the interests of international science. In such exchange arrangements, it is important that full deposit information is recorded, as with general depositions (See 8.2).

Information as to which collections already exist and their holdings can be obtained from the World Directory of Cultures of Microorganisms (Sugawara, 1993) (Staines et al., 1986) or for more up to date information from the WFCC World Data Centre on Microorganisms (WDCM) online searchable database (see 18). Some other specialist listings are also available (see 18).


6.1 Culture collections are necessarily labour-intensive. When determining the numbers of full- and part-time positions required it is important to consider how time-consuming the routine accessions, preservation, maintenance, documentation and viability checking will become as the collection approaches its target strain numbers. Staff levels need to be sufficient not only for the incorporation and maintenance of cultures, but also to fulfil the anticipated level of culture supply and other services the collection is to offer.

6.2 The effective curation and management of a culture collection is a demanding task. It requires knowledge not only of the organisms themselves, their growth and preservation requirements, properties and potential applications, but also of the provision of a range of customer services. Key staff members recruited would be expected to have a higher degree in an appropriate field and some subsequent direct experience or special training in culture collection curation skills. In order to attract and retain sufficient high calibre staff, arrangements for long term employment should be made where possible. Too frequent staff turnover will jeopardize the maintenance of standards in the collection and hence the quality and effectiveness of the services provided.

6.3 Particular attention should be paid to the qualifications and experience of the person in charge of the Collection. The importance of management skills for larger collections should be recognised.

6.4 While it is not always practical to appoint staff who are specialists concerned with, for example, the identification and authentication of all systematic groups held, some basic taxonomic skills are essential for quality control (see 8.1). Where a need for additional specialist taxonomic support exists, especially if it relates to advertised services such as identification, steps need to be taken to provide such expertise through collaborative arrangements within and/or outside the collection's parent organization. As such specialist assistance might be required at short-notice, it is preferable for such arrangements to be formalized rather than informal.


7.1 Microorganisms often require special preservation methods in order to ensure optimal viability, storage, purity and stability for individual strains. For security, and in order to minimize the probability of strains being lost, each strain should be maintained by at least two different procedures, whenever practical. At least one of these should be by freeze-drying (lyophilization) or storage in liquid nitrogen (cryopreservation), since for most strains these are the best methods for minimizing the risks of genetic change. In some cases, for example for cell lines, where only freezing is applicable, duplicates should be stored in separate refrigerators with different electrical supplies or in separate liquid nitrogen storage containers.

7.2 While considerable experience is now available on the optimal preservation methods for many groups of microorganisms (see 18), this is not so for all. Particular care is needed with strains hitherto not preserved in culture collections, when a greater range of procedures should be used or research carried out to determine optimal protocols (see 14.2).

7.3 Culture collections can play an important part in preservation of the products of microbial genome projects. It is important that the technology required for this activity is made available to the genomic programmes and collections are well placed to provide this support and the necessary long-term conservation facilities.

7.4 In order to minimize the risks to important genetic resources from fire, flooding, earthquakes, war or other catastrophes, collections should arrange to have duplicates of the most important and irreplaceable strains (and their associated documentation) securely housed in a different building, or ideally at a separate site.


8.1 Scientists obtain research material from recognised collections because such material has undergone quality control and authentication testing as part of the routine procedures of the collection. Use of the wrong organism in investigations is time-wasting, expensive, and leads to invalid published results. Moreover, without proper authentication noxious organisms could be inadvertently supplied. This places a grave responsibility on collections and demands attention from the time the first cultures are received for preservation.

8.2 As part of the deposit procedures, collections must provide accession forms to be completed by all depositors. The forms should include all available information regarding the strain and its origin. This should include information on country of origin, name of isolator, date/time/geographic location of isolation, taxonomic identification (if known), phenotypic/ genotypic strain properties, bibliographic references, known distribution restrictions.

This information is important for providing maximum scientific data to future users and also is important for compliance with the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Collections should develop documents for prior informed consent purposes (PIC) and material transfer agreements (MTA) to be used in the receipt and distribution of cultures within the framework of the CBD (note: the WFCC Biodiversity Committee and European Union's MOSAICC Project can provide further information).

8.3 When named cultures are received, the person making the original identification should be recorded. The Collection should confirm the identification and check that it agrees with published descriptions of the species. Alternatively, the collection should confirm that the culture has been checked by a competent specialist.

8.4 All incoming material should be treated as potentially hazardous until its identification is confirmed. Procedures should be in place to ensure unidentified material is not treated casually and that all safety requirements are followed. It is recommended that unidentified material be handled at containment level 2.

8.5 In the case of unidentified cultures received, the collection should be cautious of identifying material in taxonomic groups for which it has no specialist expertise and it should endeavour to have material checked by specialists prior to incorporation.

8.6 In the case of microorganisms which are recognizable from microscopic preparations or dried cultures (i.e. filamentous fungi, algae, protozoa), it is good practice to make such preparations when they are received for deposit. This facilitates checking whether a strain recovered later from the preserved material conforms to that originally deposited. Preparation of drawings or photographic images is also recommended, where appropriate.

8.7 When cultures are recovered from preserved material during maintenance, routine re-preservation work, or when they are being despatched, care should be taken to ensure they conform to the original deposit by carrying out appropriate tests, by comparative study (see 8.4), or checking by a specialist. Cultures despatched from pre-tested batches would not require testing again at the time of despatch.

8.8 The need for taxonomic expertise to authenticate cultures must be borne in mind when new staff are recruited.


9.1 If a collection has been established to provide a public service, then it should have the capacity to provide the timely delivery of listed strains. If cultures cannot be delivered in a reasonable time for scientific or technical reasons (for example, if the growth rate is very slow), this should be indicated in catalogues, lists or databases. Fees charged for culture supply will vary according to the financial basis and policies of the owners of the collection.

9.2 Cultures listed as available in catalogues by service collections should normally be provided without restriction to those requesting them, subject to any international convention, import, quarantine or containment regulations that might apply, and to normal credit control procedures where charges are made. It is recognized that charging policies and differential rates for users in particular regions or for different purposes (for example teaching) may be applied in accordance with the policy of the parent organization or funding body.

9.3 Many service collections exchange cultures with other service collections for accession purposes at no cost. Cultures for teaching and research purposes are also regularly made available at a reduced cost or on other preferential terms compared to regular charges.

9.4 Cultures which, for any reason, are not available for distribution should not be listed in catalogues or included in publicly accessible databases. Cultures with restricted distribution should be clearly marked.

9.5 Strains which are pathogenic or toxic to plants, animals or man are generally subject to national or international regulations from health and/or agriculture authorities. Scientists requesting such strains may need to obtain permits to import material or to handle the cultures. Where cultures that are subject to such regulations are being supplied to a person or institution not known to the collection, written and signed guarantees must be obtained on the credentials of the person concerned and the containment facilities and expertise of the institution before dispatching cultures.

9.6 Collections should maintain detailed records of recipients of cultures showing the material sent (with strain and batch numbers where appropriate), method and date of shipment, and name and address of the person to whom sent. In the case of unsatisfactory performance, or if it is necessary to supply subsequent information, recipients can then be notified.

9.7 When mailing cultures, attention needs to be given to relevant postal regulations regarding packaging and labelling (see 18).


10.1 Collections need to ensure the widest possible visibility for their holdings and the specialist services they provide to the scientific community. They form part of the scientific infrastructure that can only be used to the full if their existence and specialist services are widely known.

10.2 Visibility can be increased through the preparation of leaflets, participation in workshop and conferences, writing articles and delivering lectures. Collaboration with local or regional organisations may be beneficial in this regard.

10.3 Visibility can also be greatly increased by the development of Web sites on the Internet. These sites can provide information on catalogues, strain data, services, contact information and publications. Much value can be added by making hyperlinks to supporting information resources (societies, databases, newsletters, bulletin boards, mailing lists, related publications) or relevant Internet sites, such as that of the WFCC (see 18).


11.1 Service culture collections may be well placed to provide a variety of support services to the scientific and industrial community worldwide or in the region they serve. If such extension services are contemplated, they need to be planned carefully as they frequently require additional expertise and facilities.

11.2 If identification services are to be offered it should be considered whether appropriately trained personnel are available to undertake this demanding task, either in the collection or in an associated institution.

11.3 If patent depository facilities are provided, these may be operated according to the procedures laid down in the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (Regulations, 1977; Guide to the Deposit of Microorganisms under the Budapest Treaty, 1988, - both published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva). Even if registration under the Treaty as an International Depository Authority is not contemplated, the standards prescribed provide good goals to attain.

11.4 If consultancy, advisory or investigation services are to be offered, attention should be given to the provision of appropriate facilities and correctly trained personnel (see 8.1). Consideration could be given to the need for insurance cover.


12.1 Records need to be kept for each strain held and should include the following categories of information: geographic location, substrate or host, date of isolation, name of person isolating the strain, depositor (or other source of the strain, such as another collection), name of the person identifying the strain, preservation procedures used, optimal growth media and temperatures, any data on biochemical or other characteristics, and any regulatory conditions applying (relating for example to quarantine, containment levels, and patent status) (see 8.2 above).

12.2 Whenever resources permit, the records should be computerized. It is possible to distribute such information on the Internet and formats should be considered that are compatible with the World Wide Web. In some regions, regional databases are under development and collections could consider collaboration with such initiatives.

12.3 For security, duplicate computer files or photocopies of records should be kept in a separate location, perhaps deposited with duplicate strains (see 7.3).

12.4 Where records are computerized, several of the collection's staff should be familiar with the operation of the system in order to provide continuity and expertise during periods of absence.


13.1 Printed catalogues of the strains available for distribution should be produced at regular intervals. While annual catalogues are rarely justified, gaps of five or more years would be too great to be useful. Publication needs will be dictated by the level of deposits made over periods of time.

13.2 Computerized catalogues can be readily prepared from machine readable data and can be distributed via the Internet, on disk or on CD-ROM, greatly increasing the visibility of information held by the collection. Such electronic catalogues can be frequently up-dated.


14.1 As centres of expertise, research programmes should be a part of every collection's activity. It not only helps attract staff of high calibre, but can make important contributions to knowledge of the morphology, taxonomy, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics of the groups of organisms maintained. Research activities also ensure that staff are kept abreast of current developments and are aware of the needs of the user community.

14.2 Collections are well-placed to develop strategies and procedures for the isolation and identification of particular organisms or products, quality control tests, preservation protocols for sensitive strains that are difficult to preserve by routine procedures, as well as developing optimal culture media and conditions for growth.


15.1 While collection staff require appropriate training themselves, once they have become skilled they are well-placed to train others in techniques relating to culture preservation, growth, and identification. The WFCC, through its education committee, organises training both for individuals and on courses. The committee can be contacted in relation to training requirements and will seek to find funds to support such needs.

15.2 If training is provided, it is important to ensure that adequate provision is made for teaching facilities and supervision and that all safety requirements are observed.


16.1 Safety aspects of all operations carried out in the collection need to be carefully controlled with respect not only to national health and safety regulations, but also with regard to good laboratory practice (see 18).

16.2 Particular attention needs to be given to the containment and security aspects of strains which are potentially harmful to man, animals or crops.

16.3 Facilities will be required for the safe opening of packages containing new deposits or material for identification which could contain harmful organisms (See 8.4 above).

16.4 Collections may consider the value of operating within recognised accreditation standards (eg ISO 9001) which indicate a guaranteed level of quality (see 18).


17.1 Collections and individual senior staff within collections should be encouraged to join the World Federation for Culture Collections.

17.2 The Federation has committees concerned with education, patents, postal/quarantine/ safety regulations, endangered collections, biodiversity and publicity, which all provide information that may be of assistance to new and established collections. The WFCC holds a major international congress every four years. This provides a unique forum for the consideration of all aspects of the activity of culture collections. A Newsletter is produced, and training schemes and courses are operated. Collection staff should be encouraged to actively participate in the affairs of the WFCC.

17.3 Many countries have formal or informal associations or federations of collections. These provide excellent opportunities for exchange of information and discussions of mutual problems.

17.4 Similarly, the establishment of formal or informal links with any regional groups active in adjacent countries should be encouraged.

17.5 In order to make their holdings widely known, collections are encouraged to register with the WFCC World Data Center on Microorganisms (WDCM). This international database is published as a printed directory and is also available online from the WFCC web site (see 18). Collaboration provides global visibility for collections. Collaboration with relevant networks is also recommended to facilitate international communication and data exchange (see 18).


Note: Many culture collections now have Web sites. To locate the addresses of the sites of individual collections, carry out a Web search on the Internet, using the collection acronym as the search term, or locate the Web address from microbiology sites listed below.


Canhos, V.P., Manfio, G.P. and Brefe, C.A.F. (1997) Data bases on microbial diversity: needs and prospects, in Progress in Microbial Ecology (eds. M.T. Martins, M.I.Z. Sato, J.M. Tiedje et al.), Brazilian Society for Microbiology and International Committee on Microbial Ecology, Sao Paulo, pp. 29-35.

Colwell, R.R. (1997) Microbial diversity: the importance of exploration and conservation. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 18: 302-7.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), http://www.unep.org/unep/conv.htm

Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat (for documents on the Convention and its organisations),


Davison, A., Brabandere, J. de., & Smith, D. (1998) Microbes, collections and the MOSAICC approach. Microbiology Australia 19(1), 36-37.

Glowka, L., Burhenne-Guilmin, F, Synge, H. et al. (1994) A Guide to the Convention on Biological Diversity (IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper 30), IUCN, Gland

Glowka, L., in >Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life=, Proceedings of the 8th WFCC International Congress for Culture Collections, Veldhoven, Netherlands, 1996. Eds. R A Samson, J A Stalpers, D van der Mei, A H Stouthamer.

Hawksworth, D.L. (1991). The fungal dimension of biodiversity: magnitude, significance, and conservation. Mycological Research, 95: 641-55.

Hawksworth, D.L. (1996). Microbial collections as a tool in biodiversity and biosystematic research, in Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life (eds. R.A. Samson, J.A. Stalpers, D. van der Mei et al.), Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn (The Netherlands), pp. 26-35.

Hawksworth, D. and Colwell, R.R.. Biodiversity amongst microorganisms and its relevance. 1992. Biodiversity and Conservation, 1, 219-345.

Hunter-Cevera, J.C. (1998). The value of microbial diversity. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 1: 278-85.

Kirsop, B. & Hawksworth, D.L. (eds) (1994). The Biodiversity of Microorganisms and the Role of Microbial Resource Centers, WFCC, London, ISBN 92 91029 041 9.

MOSAICC project (Microorganism Sustainable Use and Access Regulation International Code of Conduct) - Convention on Biological Diversity compliance recommendations: http://www.belspo.be/bccm/mosaicc

Palleroni, N.J. (1996) Microbial diversity and the importance of culturing, in Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life (eds. R.A. Samson, J.A. Stalpers, D. van der Mei et al.), Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn (The Netherlands), pp. 111-4.

Stackebrandt, E. (1996). Are culture collections prepared to meet the microbe-specific demands of the articles of the Convention on Biological Diversity?, in Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life (eds. R.A. Samson, J.A. Stalpers, D. van der Mei et al.), Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn (The Netherlands), pp. 74-8.

Stackebrandt, E. (1997). The Biodiversity Convention and its consequence for the Inventory of Prokaryotes, in Progress in Microbial Ecology (eds. M.T. Martins, M.I.Z. Sato, J.M. Tiedje et al.), Brazilian Society for Microbiology and International Committee on Microbial Ecology, Sao Paulo, pp. 3-9.

Staley, J.T., Castenholz, R.W., Colwell, R.R. et al. (1997). The microbial world: foundation of the biosphere, in American Academy of Microbiology Critical Issues Colloquia (ed. American Society for Microbiology), URL: http://www.asmusa.org/acasrc/pdfs/microb.pdf.

Tiedje, J., Urbance, J., Larsen, N. et al. (1996). Towards an integrated microbial database, in Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life (eds. R.A. Samson, J.A. Stalpers, D. van der Mei et al.), Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn (The Netherlands), pp. 63-8.

FCC Information Document: Access to Ex-Situ Microbial Genetic Resources within the Framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. (1996). Ed. WFCC Biodiversity Committee. ISBN 92 9109 042 5


Canhos, V.P, G P Manfio, G.F. and Blaine, L.D., 1993. Software Tools and Databases for Bacterial Systematics and their Dissemination via Global Networks. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 64, 205-229.

Carling, B. 1996. Crawling around the Web: Biology and the Internet. Biologist 43: 9-12.

Edwards, A., Kirsop, B. and Mckenney, D. 1995. The Internet and the Microbiologist. Binary Vol 7 pp15-18.

Gams, W & Hennebert, G L, Stalpers, J, Janssens, D, Schipper, M A, Smith, J, Yarrow, D & Hawksworth, D L (1988). Structuring Strain Data for Storage and Retrieval of Information on Fungi and Yeasts in MINE, the Microbial Information Network Europe. Journal of General Microbiology 134: 1667-1689.]

Hawksworth, D.L. & Schipper, M.A.A. (1989). Criteria for consideration in the accreditation of culture collections participating in MINE, the Microbial Information Network Europe. MIRCEN Journal 5, 277-281.

Kirsop, B. and Canhos, V.P., 1995. Biodiversity Information Transfer: some existing initiatives and how to link them. In: Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Function. Eds: Allsopp D, Colwell R R and Hawksworth, D L, pp 439-445. CABI.

Rogosa, M, Krichevsky, M I & Colwell, R R (1986). Coding Microbiological Data for Computers. 299 pp. New York & Springer.

Stalpers, J.A., Kracht, M., Jansens, D., De Ley, J., Van der Toorn, J., Smith, J., Claus, D. & Hippe, H. (1990). Structuring strain data for storage and retrieval of information on bacteria in MINE, Microbial Information Network Europe. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 13, 92-103.


Anon (1994). Genebank standards. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome. ISBN 92 9043 236 5.

Batra, L R & Iijima, T (1984). Critical Problems of Culture Collections. 71 pp. Osaka: Institute for Fermentation.

Doyle, A, Hay, R, & Kirsop, B E (eds)(1990). Living Resources for Biotechnology: Animal cells. 191 pp. Cambridge University Press.

Hawksworth, D L & Kirsop, B E (eds)(1988). Living Resources for Biotechnology: Filamentous Fungi. 209 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hawksworth, D L & Schipper, M A A (1989). Criteria for consideration in the accreditation of culture collections participating in MINE, the Microbial Information Network Europe. MIRCEN Journal 5: 277.281.

Hill, L R & Kirsop, B E (eds) (1990). Living Resources for Biotechnology: Bacteria. 200 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hunter-Cevera, J.C. (1996). The importance of culture collections in industrial microbiology and biotechnology, in Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life (eds. R.A. Samson, J.A. Stalpers, D. van der Mei et al.), Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn (The Netherlands), pp. 158-62.

Kirsop, B. & Canhos, V.P.(eds) (1998). The Economic Value of Microbial Genetic Resources, WFCC, ISBN 92 9109 043 3 (also available online from the WFCC Web Site, below).

Kirsop, B E & C P Kurtzman (eds)(1988).Living Resources for Biotechnology: Yeasts. 234 pp. Cambridge University Press.

Nakamura, L K (1989). Culture collection guidelines. United States Federation for Culture Collections, Newsletter 19(2): 1, 4-6.

Office of Science and Technology, UK (1996). A New Strategy for the UK Microbial Culture Collections: Government Response to the Independent Review of UK Microbial Culture Collections, Office of Science and Technology (UK), URL: http://www.dti.gov.uk/ost/ukmcc/ukmcc.htm.

Sly, L.I. (1996). WFCC: aims and achievements revisited, in Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life (eds. R.A. Samson, J.A. Stalpers, D. van der Mei et al.), Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Baarn (The Netherlands), pp. 3-16.

Sly, L.I., Iijima, T. and Kirsop, B. (1990). 100 Years of Culture Collections, in Proceedings of the Kraal Symposium to Commemorate the Centenary of the First Recorded Service Culture Collection. (ed. WFCC), Institute for Fermentation, Osaka.

Zedan, H. (1993). The economic value of microbial diversity. Society for Industrial Microbiology Newsletter, 43: 178-85.


Hall, G S & Hawksworth, D L (1990). International Mycological Directory. 2nd edn. 163 pp. Wallingford, Oxon: CAB International.

Hawksworth, D L (1985). Fungus culture collections as a biotechnological resource. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews 3: 417-453.

Malik, K A & Claus, D (1987). Bacterial culture collections: their importance to biotechnology and world microbiology. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews 5: 137-197.

Staines, J F, McGowan, V F, & Skerman, V B D (1986). World Directory of Collections of Cultures of Microorganisms. 3rd edn. 678 pp. Brisbane: World Data Center.

Takishima, Y, Shimuira, T, Udagawa, Y & Sugawara, H (1989). Guide to World Data Center on Microorganisms with a List of Culture Collections in the World. 249 pp. Saitama: World Data Center on Microorganisms.

The Microbial Underground, http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/medbact/.index.html


INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SCIENCE (ICSU) http://www.lmcp.jussieu.fr











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