International Microbiology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 101–103 | Cite as

History and services of culture collections

  • Federico UruburuEmail author
Review Article


Microbial culture collections aim at collecting, maintaining and distributing microbial strains among microbiologists, and are considered to be a means to preserve microbial diversity ex situ. This article reviews the early history of culture collections, which were first set up in the late nineteenth century, with the introduction of pure culture techniques. It also describes the international connections between culture collections, which led to the foundation of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) and the International Congress of Culture Collections (ICCC). An overview of the Spanish Type Culture Collection (CECT) is included, as well as a description of the services that culture collections can offer.


Culture collection Spanish Type Culture Collection CECT Frantisek Král 


  1. 1.
    Hunter-Cevera JC, Belt A (eds) (1996) Maintaining cultures for biotechnology and industry. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kirsop BE, Kurtzman CP, Hawksworth D, Hill LR, Doyle A, Hay R (eds) (1989–1990) Living resources for biotechnology. vols 1–4. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kirsop BE, Doyle A (eds) (1991) Maintenance of microorganisms and cultured cells. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Koçur M (1990) History of the Král collection. In: Sly LI, Kirsop B (eds) 100 years of culture collections. Institute for Fermentation, OsakaGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Smith D, Onions AHS (1994) The preservation and maintenance of living fungi. International Mycological Institute. CAB International, EghamGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Smith D, Rhode C, Holmes B (1999) Handling and distribution of microorganisms and the law. Microbiol Today 26:14–16Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sugawara H, Miyazaki S (1999) World Directory of collections of cultures of microorganisms. WFCC-MIRCEN-WDC, MishimaGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Uruburu F (1994) The Spanish Type Culture Collection of Microorganisms (CECT). Microbiología SEM 10:311–314Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and SEM 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Spanish Type Culture Collection (CECT)University of ValenciaBurjassotSpain

Personalised recommendations