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History and services of culture collections

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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.

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Correspondence to Federico Uruburu.

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Uruburu, F. History and services of culture collections. Int Microbiol 6, 101–103 (2003).

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