cryoboxEDITED.jpgA Research Coordination Network for ex situ Microbial Germplasm Collections sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

USCCN News​ and Activities

USCCN 2015 NCGRP Meeting:

The USCCN will hold a meeting October  13-14 at the USDA National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation. The focus of this meeting will be preserving Endangered or Orphaned collections. Please contact any of the Steering Committee members for more information or if you would like to attend. Support for attendance may be available.

USCCN 2015 Collection Practices Workshop:

The USCCN will host a workshop, conducted by CABI, at Kansas State in August 2015. The announcement will be made in late March/ Early April. This will be a fee based workshop although some scholarships will be available.
Announcing a funding opportunity for work involving collections.
The US National Science Foundation is accepting applications for support of Post Doctoral Scholars working in a variety of areas including "Competitive Area 2. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships Using Biological Collections."
The next deadling for this application is November 3, 2015. Please see the program description here:

USCCN 2014 UC Davis Meeting:  The USCCN met on September 24-25, 2014 and reinforced ties between culture collections and genome biology, to ensure best practices in maintaining and distributing microbial resources associated with genomics research.  Nearly 50 participants enjoyed presentations from collections including the FGSC, NCMA, FRC, the UTEX algal collection, and the CCME collection, now at PNNL. Additional presentations were given emphasizing large scale genome projects utilizing culture collection resources including the 1000 Fungal Genome project, the 100K bacterial genome project, GEBA, and the mollicutes collection. The Phaff Yeast Culture Collection hosted the meeting in collaboration with the UCD wine yeast and bacteria collection. Tours of the Robert Mondavi Institute and the UC Davis teaching and research winery in the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery building, the Bohart Entomological collection and the UCD Museum of wildlife and fish biology. 

2014 Penn State Workshop: 
The USCCN held a workshop focusing on regulatory affairs at Penn State University on May 19-20, 2014.  Twenty-two scientists, including 12 new participants, engaged in discussions on permitting, materials transfer agreements (MTAs), and best practices regarding sharing cultures. World Federation of Culture Collections (WFCC) President Philippe Desmeth of the Belgian Coordination of Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM) presented on the TRUST initative, making recommendations regarding fulfilling due diligence according to the Conventions on Biological diversity (CBD).  Workshop participants toured some of Penn State's outstanding culture collection facilities, including the E. coli Reference Center in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Fusarium Research Center, Mushroom Spawn Lab and Verticillium Collections in the The Department of Plant and Environmental Microbiology.

The Penn State Meeting was described in a formal meeting report in  Standards in Genomic Sciences

2013 NCMA Meeting:  Our second meeting was held October 2013 at the National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The focus was on shared informatics resources for culture collections. The agenda is available online. This meeting included a public outreach event, welcoming local residents to hear about model organisms in biological research.

2013 NRRL Workshop:  The RCN held a workshop at the USDA ARS Collection at Peoria, Illinois (NRRL) on May 30 - 31.​  This meeting focused on engagement of stakeholders from academic, government and industry research.

2012 FGSC Meeting:  The USCCN held its first meeting at the Fungal Genetics Stock Center at Kansas City in September 2012. 
This three-day meeting included an afternoon outreach event attended by over 75 local High School students. The following days included input by diverse stake-holders from 25 different academic, government, and commercial entities. For many, it marked their first visit to a collection other than their own.​

Other News:

Steering Committee member Kyria Boundy-Mills, curator of the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, was elected to the Executive Board of the WFCC​ at the International Conference on Culture Collections (ICCC13) in Beijing in October 2013.

Three steering committee members participated in the October 2012 launch of the European Microbial Research Resource Infrastructure project at Braunschweig, Germany.

The USCCN effort, bringing together researchers from collections of every type of microbial germplasm, is being described as an example of community collaboration (NSF and ESA).  

The USCCN effort is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation grant DBI-1203113. The American Phytopathological Society is providing administrative support for USCCN activities.