New Global Core Biodata Resources: Four DSMZ Databases

DSMZ is delighted that the importance of its Digital Diversity platform has been underlined by further international recognition of its key databases.

Team members of the DSMZ Digital Diversity platform; Source: DSMZ

Four global and three European awards, received by scientific databases developed at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH, underline the recognition of the institute’s new role as an infrastructure for biological data of global scientific importance. The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) recognises biodata resources that are of fundamental importance to the wider biological and life sciences community and to the long-term preservation of biological data. Through a restrictive selection process, the GBC selects databases that are considered authoritative in their field and are of high scientific quality. In its second round of selection, the GBC recently added 15 biodata resources to the 52 so-called Global Core Biodata Resources. Among these 15 resources are the two German databases SILVA and LPSN, both currently under development at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ. SILVA is a comprehensive resource for quality-controlled data sets of aligned ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences from all domains of life and is used for the identification of microorganisms for example in clinical probes. The second database, The List of Prokaryotic Names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN) is the authoritative source of information on prokaryotic nomenclature and related data and serves scientists around the world to keep track of the ever-changing names of bacteria.

At the European level, the European Life Sciences Infrastructure (ELIXIR) established a similar system to the GBC many years ago and has recognised a small number of European databases with the ELIXIR Core Data Resource award. Recently, the Bacterial Diversity database (BacDive), the knowledge base on bacterial strains, has joined the circle of 31 ELIXIR Core Data Resources, the most important European databases in the life sciences. Including the BRENDA database, the largest database on enzymes also being developed at the DSMZ, the four databases are now recognised as four global and three European core data resources. This is a recognition of the great work done by the database development team at the DSMZ. Currently, the team of bioinformaticians, software developers and biologists is being further expanded to build the new unified DSMZ Digital Diversity platform to develop new and to improve existing scientific web services for the advancement of the global scientific community.

Press contact:
PhDr. Sven-David Müller, Head of Public Relations, Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH
Phone: ++49 (0)531/2616-300
Mail: press(at)dsmz.de

About the Leibniz Institute DSMZ
The Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures is the world's most diverse collection of biological resources (bacteria, archaea, protists, yeasts, fungi, bacteriophages, plant viruses, genomic bacterial DNA as well as human and animal cell lines). Microorganisms and cell cultures are collected, investigated and archived at the DSMZ. As an institution of the Leibniz Association, the DSMZ with its extensive scientific services and biological resources has been a global partner for research, science and industry since 1969. The DSMZ was the first registered collection in Europe (Regulation (EU) No. 511/2014) and is certified according to the quality standard ISO 9001:2015. As a patent depository, it offers the only possibility in Germany to deposit biological material in accordance with the requirements of the Budapest Treaty. In addition to scientific services, research is the second pillar of the DSMZ. The institute, located on the Science Campus Braunschweig-Süd, accommodates more than 86,500 bioresources and has almost 230 employees. www.dsmz.de

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The Leibniz Association connects 96 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct basic and applied research, including in the interdisciplinary Leibniz Research Alliances, maintain scientific infrastructure, and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer, particularly with the Leibniz research museums. It advises and informs policymakers, science, industry and the general public. Leibniz institutions collaborate intensively with universities – including in the form of Leibniz ScienceCampi – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to a transparent, independent evaluation procedure. Because of their importance for the country as a whole, the Leibniz Association Institutes are funded jointly by Germany’s central and regional governments. The Leibniz Institutes employ around 20,500 people, including 11,500 researchers. The financial volume amounts to 2 billion euros. www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de