Fungal Genetic Stock Center

Kevin) The Fungal Genetic Stock Center is a research resource repository and we preserve and distribute strains of filaments, fungi and yeast that are used for research and biomedicine and biofuel development, genetics in general. This collection was established in 1960 out of concern that the research resources that were used in the demonstration of the seminole one gene, one enzyme hypothesis wouldn’t be available to future generations of researchers. And that’s been a very foresighted activity. We’re now using whole genome sequence characterization in collaboration with the Department of Energy to understand what genes are deficient in strains that were originally studied in the 1950’s. And this is important because neurosporin, the main organism in the collection, is a model for plant biomass deconstruction by microbes. And the ultimate goal of producing bio fuel from plant biomass, where a peer of the E. coli stock center at Yale University, Arabidopsis Stock Center at the Ohio State University and a diverse array of living research resource collections around the U.S. They’re used to understand how we can treat fungal infections in humans and animals and fungi are important in veterinary medicine. They’re also very important for understanding how we can manage agricultural fungal infections. So, we’re in the Department of Plant Pathology and many of the organisms in the collection are agricultural pests. Through the activity of the U.S. Culture Collection that work, many collections are now developing off-site backups in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado. The USDA is stepping up at a time when many collections face loss. When a researcher retires or when they move to another institution, sometimes the research resources are highly valuable, but the new institution doesn’t have a home. But the government has already invested in that and so we’re providing a way to make those resources available to future generations of researchers.

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