The U.S. Culture Collection Network lays the foundation for progress in preservation of valuable microbial resources

Kevin McCluskey, Anne Alvarez, Rick Bennett, Deepak Bokati, Kyria Boundy-Mills, Daniel Brown, Carolee T. Bull, Michael Coffey, Tyler Dreaden, Clifford Duke, Greg Dye, Erin Ehmke, Kellye Eversole, Kristi Fenstermacher, David Geiser, Jessie A. Glaeser, Stephanie Greene, Lisa Gribble, M. Patrick Griffith, Kathryn HanserRichard Humber, Barbara W. Johnson, Anthony Kermode, Micah Krichevsky, Matt Laudon, Jan Leach, John Leslie, Meghan May, Ulrich Melcher, David Nobles, Natalia Risso Fonseca, Sara Robinson, Matthew Ryan, James Scott, Carolyn Silflow, Anne Vidaver, Kimberly M. Webb, John E. Wertz, Sara Yentsch, Sarah Zehr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The U.S. Culture Collection Network was formed in 2012 by a group of culture collection scientists and stakeholders in order to continue the progress established previously through efforts of an ad hoc group. The network is supported by a Research Coordination Network grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and has the goals of promoting interaction among collections, encouraging the adoption of best practices, and protecting endangered or orphaned collections. After prior meetings to discuss best practices, shared data, and synergy with genome programs, the network held a meeting at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Fort Collins, Colorado in October 2015 specifically to discuss collections that are vulnerable because of changes in funding programs, or are at risk of loss because of retirement or lack of funding. The meeting allowed collection curators who had already backed up their resources at the USDA NCGRP to visit the site, and brought collection owners, managers, and stakeholders together. Eight formal collections have established off-site backups with the USDA-ARS, ensuring that key material will be preserved for future research. All of the collections with backup at the NCGRP are public distributing collections including U.S. NSF-supported genetic stock centers, USDA-ARS collections, and university-supported collections. Facing the retirement of several pioneering researchers, the community discussed the value of preserving personal research collections and agreed that a mechanism to preserve these valuable collections was essential to any future national culture collection system. Additional input from curators of plant and animal collections emphasized that collections of every kind face similar challenges in developing long-range plans for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-540
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Smith of APS for her support of this meeting, and G. Holman of the USDA NCGRP for support of the microbial program and the meeting of the NRRL.The USCCN is supportedby grant DBI 1203112 from the U.S. National Science Foundation. This is publication number 16-171-J of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The American Phytopathological Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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