Scientific progress depends on a strong foundation of data credibility. Yet, research is frequently limited by the lack of reliable reference materials. With microbiological research entering the ‘omics era, scientists are now equipped with tools such as whole-genome sequencing (WGS), which has diverse applications in the areas of microbiome research, clinical diagnostics, public health, and therapeutics development. Translational studies in these areas necessitate the need for authenticated standards along with high-quality reference genomes. Despite the availability of publicly available genomic data, the quality, authenticity, and accuracy of the data are inadequate and the lack of official standards for determining genome quality exacerbates these underlying issues. In this workshop, we discuss the importance of credible reference materials in microbial genomics with a particular focus on microbiome and phylogenetic studies. We also preview ATCC’s genome portal of high-quality assembled genomes for advancing the authentication of ATCC strains.
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