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Type Strains

Blue bacteria cultures growing on red media in petri dish.

Discover the nomenclatural type of a microbial species

Microorganisms are an essential part of human life, playing key roles in carbon and nutrient cycling, drug discovery, environmental remediation, decomposition, and human health and disease. With the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatic tools, our understanding of these organisms has rapidly progressed, shedding new light on microbial evolution. While this essential research has filled many taxonomic gaps, we have only just begun to scratch the surface of microbial diversity.

Because microbial strains within a species can show a wide range of genetic differences, having a point of reference for microbial identification is of tremendous value to life science research. Type strains provide this reference as they are considered the nomenclatural type of a specific species on which the description of the species is based. These strains are often—but not always—the first strain of a species to be identified.

When new type strains are identified, the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) and International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM) have stipulated that they must be deposited in two or more public culture collections in different countries. As a recognized culture collection in the United States, ATCC accepts proposed type strains through our Type Strain Deposit service and makes those essential cultures available to the scientific community. Explore our growing collection of type strains below to see how we can support your research.

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Type strain deposit service

As a recognized culture collection in the United States and a member of the World Federation for Culture Collections, ATCC accepts proposed type strains through its Type Strain Deposit service. Once a type strain is accepted, we conduct viability and identity testing and then, if applicable, provide depositors with a Certificate of Deposit required for publication.

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ATCC Genome Portal

Reference-quality Genomes

ATCC is not only enriching the characterization of our biological collections by using next-generation sequencing, we are also making those data available to everyone through the ATCC Genome Portal.

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ATCC Genome Portal

The ATCC Genome Portal makes it easy to find the high-quality whole-genome sequencing data needed for your research. You can easily search, download, and analyze thousands of reference-quality genomes for our microbial strains.

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