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ATCC and ABRF Tap Extreme Environments to Move Microbiome Analyses Towards Standardization

News Release

Manassas, VA, United States

December 06, 2017

ATCC, a global leader in biological materials development, management, and standards; and the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Metagenomics Research Group (ABRF-MGRG), a collaboration dedicated to the advancement of metagenomic methodologies; today announced the launch of three new microbiome reference standards comprising genomic DNA prepared from microorganisms prevalent in extreme environments. One of the key challenges in current environmental microbiome analysis methods is the lack of appropriate reference materials needed to standardize metagenomic workflows. The ATCC partnership with ABRF-MGRG resulted from a common goal to improve the analytical consistency of scientific methods used in microbiome research.

“Lab managers, bench scientists, and bioinformaticists have all been challenged by the variability present in the current microbiome analysis methods, which stems from differences in DNA extraction reagents, protocols, library preparation procedures, sequencing platforms, and bioinformatic tools,” stated Scott Tighe, ABRF-MGRG Chair. “Natural compounds and enzymes produced by extremophiles and other novel environmental microorganisms have an enormous potential for drug development, bioremediation, and biotechnology. With metagenomic studies of these microbial populations becoming a rapidly growing field, establishing standardized methods has become critical”.

“ATCC continues to make the standardization of microbiome research a priority as evidenced by our growing collection of standards developed in partnership with industry leaders such as ABRF,” said Joseph Leonelli, Ph.D., Vice President of ATCC’s Microbiology and Government Solutions business. “As we continue to look to microbiome data for advancements in healthcare, personalized medicine, and industrial manufacturing, ATCC remains committed to developing reliable standards that engender trust in scientific achievements across all sectors of research.”

The ABRF-MGRG standards (ATCC MSA-3000, MSA-3001, MSA-3002) represent the newest addition to the ATCC Microbiome Research Solutions portfolio, and expands on current ATCC mock microbial communities consisting of environmental, commensal, or clinical isolates.

About ATCC

ATCC is a premier global biological materials and information resource and standards organization and the leading developer and supplier of authenticated cell lines, microorganisms, and associated data for academia, industry, and government. With a history of scientific contributions spanning nearly a century, ATCC offers an unmatched combination of being the world’s largest and most diverse collection of biological reference materials and data, and is a mission-driven, trusted partner that supports and encourages scientific collaboration. ATCC products, services, partnerships, and people provide the global scientific community with credible, advanced, model systems to support complex research and innovations in basic science, drug discovery, translational medicine, and public health. ATCC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with headquarters in Manassas, Virginia, and a research and technology center of excellence in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

Contact: Kim Testa, senior director, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, ATCC, [email protected]

About ABRF Metagenomics Research Group

ABRF is an international society dedicated to advancing core and research biotechnology laboratories through research, technology, communication, and education. In response to the rapidly growing fields of metagenomics and microbiome studies, ABRF formed the Metagenomics Research Group with goals to advance the methods of metagenomics as well as describe new and interesting microbial environments. This research group comprises core lab managers, bench scientists, and bioinformaticists with extensive backgrounds in microbiology, genetics, bioinformatics, oceanography, and climate research. Visit ABRF online at