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The WFCC needed comprehensive information on culture collections world-wide to accomplish its mission. Among experts in the WFCC, Professor V. B. D. Skerman (University of Queensland, Australia) and his colleagues in the 1960's pioneered the development of an international database on culture resources worldwide. The result was the WFCC World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM). He published the World Directory of Collections of Cultures of Microorganisms (the World Directory) in 1972 (Skerman, 1972) , although the database itself was for in-house use only. The records in the CCINFO database contain data on the organization, management, services and scientific interests of the collections. Each record is linked to other types of records contained in the STRAIN database, which is a list of holdings of culture collections: algae, cyanobacteria, bacteria, fungi, yeasts, lichens, protozoa, tissue cultures and viruses.

The WFCC relocated the data center to the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) Japan after an open competition to host the data center, when Professor Skerman retired. The WDCM in RIKEN was initially headed by Professor Kazuo Komagata and later by Dr. Hideaki Sugawara. The WDCM at RIKEN made the World Directory database open to the public via a Packet Switching System and then via the Internet using a Gopher system and then a Web site. In April, 1997, the WDCM moved from RIKEN to the National Institute of Genetics (NIG) after agreement among WFCC, RIKEN, NIG and Japan Society for Culture Collections (JSCC), when Dr. Hideaki Sugawara moved to the Center for Information Biology and DNA Data Bank of Japan, NIG. WDCM at NIG dropped the Gopher service and concentrated on providing Web-based services.

The inauguration Ceremony of WFCC-MIRCEN WDCM and the First WDCM Seminar were held on May 17, 2011 in Beijing. Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) launched the WFCC (World Federation for Culture Collection) -MIRCEN (Microbial Resources Centres) World Data Center for Microorganisms (WDCM). Prof. SUGAWARA, officially transferred the host of WDCM to IMCAS and Prof. Juncai MA becomes the new president of WDCM. IMCAS won the bid for hosting WDCM in October 2010 and will undertake its development in the coming years. It is the first world data center in the field of life sciences settled in China's and will promote China’s microbial research extensively in international arena and establish a data-sharing platform of global microbial resources.


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