Fungal Genetics Stock Center Frequently Asked Questions:

What IS the FGSC ?

What are fungi ?

What is Fungal Genetics ?

How do I find materials ?

How do I find things that are not in the FGSC collection ?

How do I order from the FGSC ?

How do I pay for materials ?

How do I deposit materials ?

What to I need to know before I ship biological materials ?

Who supports the FGSC ?

Who works at the FGSC ?

Does the FGSC keep client information confidential?

What can I do to support the FGSC ?

 


The FGSC at a glance

The Fungal Genetics Stock Center is a resource available to the Fungal Genetics research community and to educational and research organizations in general. The FGSC is funded largely by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Award Number 0235887) of the United States of America and to a lesser extent by the payments made by researchers who use our services.

The Fungal Genetics Stock Center was established to preserve strains that were finding important use in genetics research. The concern was present in the Fungal Genetics research community that strains used in the 40's and 50's were in danger of being lost as the researchers who had generated them retired or moved on to other areas of inquiry. The FGSC was founded in 1960 at Dartmouth College. The first support was a three year grant of $32,300. Dr. Raymond Barratt was the first Director. Since its days at Dartmouth, the FGSC has moved three times, first to California State University, Humboldt, then in 1985 to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, and finally to the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 2004.

In 1960 there were approximately 400 strains at the FGSC. Now there are over 19,000 Neurospora strains, a growing number of Neurospora knock-outs, over 2,000 Aspergillus strains and various representatives of other fungi. Additionally, the FGSC has cloned genes, and gene libraries. In early 2001, we added strains of Magnaporthe grisea and molecular tools for working with them. In 2003 and 2004, we accepted nearly 50,000 Magnaporthe knock out mutants. In 2005 we began to distribute arrayed sets of knock-out mutants of Cryptococcus or Candida mutants.
 

For more information, please see McCluskey K, Wiest A, Plamann M. 2010. The Fungal Genetics Stock Center: a repository for 50 years of fungal genetics research. J Biosci. 35(1):119-26.

What are Fungi and why do people study them?

Fungi are lower eukaryotes, that is organisms with nuclei. Other eukaryotes include Plants, Animals, and Chromists (seaweed, for example). Organisms without nuclei are called prokaryotes and include all the Bacteria. Fungi are different from plants or animals. Fungi are divided into several groups, the three most basic groups are the Basidiomycetes, the Ascomycetes, and the Zygomcetes. Most of the fungi that we recognize as mushrooms are Basidiomycetes. Several, such as the Morels, are Ascomycetes. Most Ascomycetes and Zygomycetes, however, are microscopic. These are occasionally seen as mold, fluffy, powdery, orange green, or black material on bread, fruit or other substrate. Yeast, used in the production of beer, bread, and wine, is an ascomycete.

While some fungi can cause disease in humans, most people have innate immunity against fungi. Some people with diseases of the immune system are at increased risk of infection by fungi. Drugs have been developed in the last 5 years that help with this.

What is Fungal Genetics?

Fungal Genetics is the study of genes and genetic traits in fungi. In the past this has been important in the elucidation of what a gene is, what the genetic material is, how genes relate to enzymes, how enzymes relate to traits and how important traits change or evolve.
In the present, Fungal Genetics is important to understanding how fungi are pathogens of plants and animals, how fungi can be used in industry for the production of enzymes, chemicals, food, and drugs. Fungi are also essential to processing bio-mass in the attempt to use ethanol as a fuel source.

The FGSC has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles.

 

Finding materials

Most fungal strains in the FGSC collection are listed in the online searches.
Some people may prefer to browse the FGSC catalog online.

Molecular materials are listed both in the catalog and online.

The FGSC is also listed in the international bioportal, Straininfo.net

Specific groups of materials are listed by category:

   Neurospora
   Aspergillus
   Fusarium and Magnaporthe
   Ustilago
   Cryptococcus
   Other Fungi
   Clones and gene libraries
   Strains from sequencing programs

Some resources at the FGSC are held in a 'deposit-storage-distribute' manner. They include the following:

The Tatum lyophil collection
The Perkins Wild type and Silica gel collections
The Perkins Ustilago collection
The Emerson Allomyces collection
Neurospora stocks from Fred deSerres, Ann Lacy, Mary Case, John Fincham, Rowland Davis
Aspergillus nidulans temperature sensitive mutant set from Steve Harris.
If you are interested in these materials, please contact the FGSC.

In addition to biological materials, the FGSC has some additional resources including genomic DNA, race tubes, Vogels salts and more.

We do not have edible fungi. Find those at www.fungi.com (though no endorsement is implied). We will not provide fungi for human consumption, or to individuals without a valid institutional affiliation.

We do not have clinical fungi. Those can be found at the ATCC or other collections.

 

Ordering from the FGSC

The best way to order from the FGSC is to use the online order form. If you need, you may FAX orders to (816) 235-6561 or call directly at (816) 235-6485.

You need not have an account or pre-pay for materials. Fees are described online. These supersede any other fee lists.
If you need a pro-forma invoice, please contact the FGSC.  Normally, we send an invoice with the materials. We accept payment by check, online credit card, or by wire transfer.

While the FGSC considers all material in the collection to be in the public domain, we cannot release rights outside our authority. Users are encouraged to seek legal advice prior to commercialization of materials from the collection. Our Material Transfer Agreement asks that you accept the following statements:

Some FGSC policies including strain availability and strain deposit are described here. In addition to the policy descriptions, this document contains information about strain descriptions and symbols used in describing the genetic backgrounds of strains.

Depositing materials at the FGSC

We solicit deposit of genetically characterized fungal strains, strains subject to whole genome sequencing, and engineered strains for general use. Also we solicit molecular vectors for transformation, gene expression, protein tagging, and other molecular tools. Our primary emphasis is model filamentous fungi and our collection does not include taxonomic type strains or cultures.    A deposit sheet can be downloaded from the FGSC web site. If you have a large number of strains to deposit, a database may replace these forms. Please contact the FGSC before sending any plant or human pathogens, or large collections of materials. The FGSC has a limited policy on restriction of strain distribution.

The FGSC is not an "international depositary authority" under the Budapest Treaty (Part 2, d(a)) and as such cannot offer the protections that an IDA offers.
The IDAs for the United States of America are the American Type Culture Collection and the USDA (NRRL) Culture Collection.

 

Shipping Biological Materials

Please read the WFCC statement on shipping biological materials

In general, you may ship strains of non-pathogenic fungi including Neurospora and its relatives, Aspergillus nidulans, A. niger, Rhizopus, Coprinus, Pichia, Saccharomyces or other BSL-1 organism without special permits. Private couriers are preferred over the postal service. Any BSL-2 organism needs to be shipped in protective packaging including a double-walled container that will prevent the escape of the organism if the culture should become breached. They need to be marked "UN3373 Biological Substance Category B" to indicate that they are biologicals but not hazardous materials. Please see the CDC guidelines for more information.

 

Who Supports the FGSC?

The FGSC has been supported since 1960 by the Living Stock Collection program, at the National Science Foundation. Additional support comes from the fees we charge to our users. To support the accessioning of large numbers of Neurospora knock-out mutants, the FGSC receives funds from the NIH Neurospora Functional Genomics program.

In 2006, the FGSC established the FGSC Endowment fund at the Genetics Society of America.


Who works at the FGSC?

There are typically three scientists associated with the FGSC; Dr. Mike Plamann is the Director and an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at UMKC. Dr. Kevin McCluskey is the curator of the FGSC and a Research Professor.  Mr. Aric Wiest  is the Associate Curator. Mr. Wiest got his MS from Texas A&M University.

The FGSC has an advisory board for oversight.

Does the FGSC maintain client confidentiality?

The FGSC does not share client information. Any information used in reporting on FGSC activities is made anonymously. This includes information used in publications and in reporting to or applying for support from granting agencies. Information we may share includes the destination country and mechanism of funding for recipients of materials from the FGSC.

What can I do to support the FGSC?

The FGSC relies on its user community to deposit materials that are useful. While we do charge fees for the materials we distribute, the most meaningful statistics that demonstrate our usefulness are the numbers of orders we receive and the numbers of citations they generate.  Please deposit materials for which you receive requests from colleagues or if you are moving on to a new research area.

We keep track of articles that cite the FGSC.  If you wish to cite the FGSC in publication, please refer to the following guidelines.  


Although information at the FGSC web site may mention specific vendors or their products, this is for identification purposes only and does not imply that the FGSC or the NSF endorses any particular product or vendor.

 


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