Culture Collections

Wellcome Sanger Institute sequences genomes of 3000 NCTC bacteria

The genomes of more than NCTC 3,000 bacteria from the NCTC collection have been sequenced by the Wellcome Sanger Institute in collaboration with Pacific Biosciences (PacBio). Read the the Wellcome Sanger Institue article on the project so far.

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NCTC Bacterial DNA

NCTC holds nearly 5100 type and reference bacterial strains.  DNA from 150 Hazard Group 2 and 3 strains from the NCTC collection have been selected and are now available via the online catalogue. 

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Culture Collections Nucleic Acids

Nucleic acids (genomic DNA, RNA and cDNA) are used increasingly in research and clinical diagnostic settings. The Culture Collections team offers a wide range of nucleic acid products and services to support researchers and the biomedical community. 

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Why Choose Us?

Public Health England (PHE) is the custodian of four unique collections that consist of expertly preserved, authenticated cell lines and microbial strains of known provenance for use in medical science and laboratory healthcare.

All the collections are developed, managed and maintained by highly trained, dedicated staff who work in accordance with internationally recognised quality standards including certification to ISO 9001:2008.

Cultures from the collections are used by scientists who need to reassure themselves and others that the materials they are using are authentic, so the conclusions to their studies are valid and relevant. This is particularly important where research may lead to peer-reviewed publications, for example, in drug discovery and vaccine efficacy studies. Authenticated reference strains are also of paramount importance for clinical diagnostic testing, food, water and environmental microbiology testing and validation studies.

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Cell lines

The European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC) maintains and supplies cell lines and their derivatives such as DNA, RNA and cDNA.



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The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) maintains and supplies over 5,000 bacteria and mycoplasma strains.



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The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) maintains and supplies over 700 viruses and viral nucleic acid.



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The National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (NCPF) maintains and supplies over 4000 fungal strains.


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