Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 18, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The ARS Culture Collection, also known as NRRL, was established in 1940, with the opening of the Northern Regional Research Laboratory, which has now been renamed the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. The purpose for establishing a culture collection at NRRL was to provide microorganisms for various USDA research programs in Peoria and elsewhere. This decision proved to be especially insightful because the culture collection and its staff were instrumental in developing the commercial production of penicillin, riboflavin, various organic acids, xanthan and dextran gums, and had major roles in technology for food fermentations and biomass conversion. The ARS Culture Collection now maintains approximately 80,000 strains of microorganisms, which have various origins, some dating back to 1904. In 1949, the United States Patent and Trademark Office asked NRRL to serve as a patent culture depositary, and NRRL became the first culture collection in the world to assume this type of obligation. In 1981, with the implementation of the Budapest Treaty, the ARS Culture Collection was accorded the status of International Depositary Authority for patent culture deposits. For many years, the ARS Culture Collection did not issue a catalog but provided needed strains through interaction with requestors. Over the past 15 years, an internal on-line catalog of strain data was developed on a mainframe computer. These data have been converted to a PC-network-based system and are now being continually added to the user-searchable database on the ARS Culture Collection Website, which has the following URL: http://nrrl.ncaur.usda.gov.