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Microbe Collections


Like the germplasm collections of plants, microbial collections are also at risk of being lost.  An increased awareness, by the microbial community, for the need to identify and backup unique and at risk collections has ARS and public-sector institutions collaborating to preserve these valuable resources.  Over the past five years, the PGRPP has initiated a program to provide back-up storage for microbial collections and already has thousands of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and yeasts in storage.  While relatively new, over 5,400 isolates from nine different collections are in storage, but this represents only a minute portion of the estimated 330,000 cultures at 72 locations for just the ARS bacterial and fungal collections. Until now, there has not been a coordinated effort for wide-scale back-up or cataloguing of microbial collections due to the lack of a cohesive microbial community to foster and support these efforts.  Therefore, the NCGRP will assist in the development of a U.S. Culture Collections Network focusing on forming a community of researchers who curate microbial culture collections and develop improved long-term storage systems for selected microbes.


The backup of microbial collections is a relatively new addition to the Plant Genetic Resources Preservation Program.  One mission of the PGRPP is to safeguard a valuable national microbial collection guaranteeing their availability for future use to the research community by providing safe long-term storage, ensuring longevity of stored microbial genetic resources.  The PGRPP works with curators within the NPGS and other public institutions to identify and secure important microbial collections at the NCGRP.

Types of Collections in Storage

Security Back-up Storage (Not for Distribution)

Microbes in the security back-up collection at the NCGRP come from plant-associated and other key collections of microbial genetic resources from ARS and other public-sector institutions.  The inventory in this collection is for secure, long-term back-up preservation and is not for distribution.  The security back-up collection stored at the NCGRP consists of plant associated fungi, bacteria, viruses, and yeasts, both beneficial and pathogenic.

Microbe Security Back-up Storage Submissions: Forms necessary to deposit cultures for back-up storage.

APS-ISF Pathogen Differential Sets   (For Distribution through GRIN)

Submissions:  Forms necessary to deposit cultures for distribution for the APS-ISF Pathogen Certification and Differential Lines Group


Requests:  Directions for ordering APS-ISF Pathogen Differential Sets through the GRIN and NCGRP's SOP for filling orders.

For us to fill orders, the requestor must send us: