Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20399265
Res. Microbiol. 2010 Jul-Aug;161(6):422-9
Public collections of microorganisms have been established since the late 19th century, and currently 573 service collections are registered at the World Data Center for Microorganisms (www.wdcm.org). All together, they hold more than 1.5 million microorganisms. By implementing guidelines compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), many public service collections evolve into professional ex situ repositories of biodiversity and distribution nodes for known, validated and precisely identified microbial resources and associated information to legitimate end-users. These Biological Resource Centers (BRCs) may be the preferred mechanism for the appropriate exploitation of microbial resources by offering the guarantee of accessibility and of transparency of supply, taking into account all relevant regulations and stakeholders’ rights, as required by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Scientists are encouraged to deposit researched microbial material at public BRCs to contribute to the Science (semi-) Commons and maximize the impact of prior knowledge. BRCs are essential infrastructures supporting the future of life sciences and biotechnology.