The Fungal Genetics Stock Center at the School of Biological Sciences has been awarded a grant of approximately $500,000 by the National Science Foundation to establish the United States Culture Collection Network.
The goal of the network is to bring together scientists working with laboratory-based collections of microbes across the nation. Along with the fungal collection housed at UMKC, this network would include collections of bacteria, yeast, algae and other environmental and plant-associated microbes.
“While there are several world-class professional collections in the U.S., like the collection we house here at UMKC, most collections in the U.S. are small and do not have long-term strategies for survival,” said Kevin McCluskey, Ph.D., Research Professor, curator of the fungal center and Principal Investigator for the NSF grant. “The network supported by this grant will ensure that smaller collections benefit from expertise available at larger living microbe collections.”
Along with UMKC’s fungal center, other notable collections represented in the network include the Pfaff Yeast Collection at the University of California-Davis and the National Marine Phytoplankton Collection at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine.
The United States Culture Collection Network will hold numerous workshops teaching best practices for managing, preserving, and distributing bacteria, fungi and other microscopic organisms in the context of formal culture collections. Biosecurity and regulatory issues also will be emphasized at workshops.
Materials in culture collections impact fields as diverse as human health, agricultural productivity, biotechnology and bio-diversity research.
For additional details, visit FGSC.