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ATCC and ABRF Tap Extreme Environments to Move Microbiome Analyses Towards Standardization

MANASSAS, VA (December 6, 2017) — ATCC, a global leader in biological materials development, management, and standards; and the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Metagenomics Research Group (ABRF-MGRG), a collaboration dedicated to the advancement of metagenomic methodologies; today announced the launch of three new microbiome reference standards comprising genomic DNA prepared from microorganisms prevalent in extreme environments. One of the key challenges in current environmental microbiome analysis methods is the lack of appropriate reference materials needed to standardize metagenomic workflows. The ATCC partnership with ABRF-MGRG resulted from a common goal to improve the analytical consistency of scientific methods used in microbiome research.

“Lab managers, bench scientists, and bioinformaticists have all been challenged by the variability present in the current microbiome analysis methods, which stems from differences in DNA extraction reagents, protocols, library preparation procedures, sequencing platforms, and bioinformatic tools,” stated Scott Tighe, ABRF-MGRG Chair. “Natural compounds and enzymes produced by extremophiles and other novel environmental microorganisms have an enormous potential for drug development, bioremediation, and biotechnology. With metagenomic studies of these microbial populations becoming a rapidly growing field, establishing standardized methods has become critical”.

“ATCC continues to make the standardization of microbiome research a priority as evidenced by our growing collection of standards developed in partnership with industry leaders such as ABRF,” said Joseph Leonelli, Ph.D., Vice President of ATCC’s Microbiology and Government Solutions business. “As we continue to look to microbiome data for advancements in healthcare, personalized medicine, and industrial manufacturing, ATCC remains commited to developing reliable standards that engender trust in scientific achievements across all sectors of research.”

The ABRF-MGRG standards (ATCC® MSA-3000™, MSA-3001™, MSA-3002™) represent the newest addition to the ATCC Microbiome Research Solutions portfolio, and expands on current ATCC mock microbial communities consisting of environmental, commensal, or clinical isolates.

About ATCC

ATCC is a leader in biological materials management, providing the worldwide scientific community and US government with research and development, products, and services in support of global health issues. With a history of innovation spanning more than 90 years, ATCC offers the world’s largest and most diverse collection of human and animal cell lines, microorganisms, biological products, and standards. ATCC is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Manassas, VA, and an R&D and services center in Gaithersburg, MD.

About the ABRF Metagenomics Research Group

ABRF is an international society dedicated to advancing core and research biotechnology laboratories through research, technology, communication, and education. In response to the rapidly growing fields of metagenomics and microbiome studies, ABRF formed the Metagenomics Research Group with goals to advance the methods of metagenomics as well as describe new and interesting microbial environments. This research group comprises core lab managers, bench scientists, and bioinformaticists with extensive backgrounds in microbiology, genetics, bioinformatics, oceanography, and climate research. Visit ABRF online at