European Culture Collections' Organisation (ECCO)
The European Culture Collections' Organisation (ECCO) was established in 1981. The aim of the organisation is to promote collaboration and exchange of ideas and information about all aspects of culture collection activity. ECCO meetings are held annually and are a valuable forum for discussion and innovation on the future development of member collection activities.
Corporate membership is open to representatives of any microbial resource centre that provides a professional public service on demand and without restriction, that accepts cultures for deposit, that provides catalogues and that is housed in countries with microbiological societies affiliated to the Federation of the European Microbiological Societies (FEMS)
. In addition member collections must be registered with the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC)
. The organisation welcomes sustaining and individual members.
ECCO comprises 61 members from 22 European countries. The total holdings of the collections number over 350.000 strains representing yeasts, filamentous fungi, bacteria and archaea, phages, plasmids including plasmid bearing strains and other recombinant DNA constructs, animal cells including human and hybridoma cell lines, animal and plant viruses, plant cells, algae and protozoa. It represents a vital source of reference strains for research and industry and a large pool of biodiversity of microorganisms isolated from humans, animals, plants, foodstuffs and the environment.