News from WFCC



Federación Latinoamericana de Colecciones
de Cultivos

Mirtha Floccari1,2, Vanderlei Pêrez Canhos 1,3, Faustino Siñeriz 1,4, Nélida Leardini1,2, Nidia Lucero 1,15, Vidal Rodríguez Lemoine1,5, Zulia Weng Alemán 1,6, Elsie Iglesias 1,7. , Sueli Corrêa Marques de Mello 1,8, Silvia Giono Cerezo 1,9, Elizabeth Sfreddo 1,10, Alejandro Perticari1,11, Gladys Martos1,12, Silvana Levis 1,13, Lilian Loperena 1,14, Graciela Davel 1,15.
1.Latin American Federation for Culture Collections, FELACC.2.SCCM,Argentinean Association for Microbiology.3.CRIA, Campinas, San Pablo, Brazil.4. PROIMI, Tucumán, Argentina. 5.CVCM, Venezuela. 6. INHEM, Cuba.7.Finlay Institute, Cuba.8.Embrapa, Brasilia, Brazil.9.CC– ENCB Col ection, Mexico. 10. CCMFCA, UNCuyo. Mendoza, Argentina.11.INTA-
IMYZA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.12.CERELA, Tucuman,Argentina.13.INEVH,   Pergamino,  Argentina.14.Engineering School,  Montevideo, Uruguay.15.ANLIS,Malbrán Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 


The idea of creating an organization able to represent collections in this region has been suggested several times. The first time was in 1974 during the VI Latin American Congress of Microbiology held in Caracas, Venezuela,sponsored by the LatinAmerican Association for Microbiology (ALAM). Here it was proposed to create a regional organization called .FederaciónLatinoamericanade Colecciones de Cultivos Microbianos, (FLCC).. The topic was examined againatseveral International Symposiums and Microbiological Congresses after this. At a meeting granted by UNESCO, with the World Federation for
Culture Col ections(WFCC) also in attendance, held in Buenos Aires (1977); at XIII Latin American Congress of Micology, ALAM, Caracas, Venezuela (1996) (3,4); XIV ALAM– Paraguay (1998) and XV ALAM– Mexico (2000); IV Symposium for Genetics Resources for Latin American and The Caribbean (SIRGEALC), Mar del Plata, Argentina (2003) and other national scientific
meetings (2).

Final y during the XVIIº ALAM, held in Buenos Aires in October 2004, a workshop on Microbial Culture Collections took place during which several countries agreed and they were summoned to the Federation Constitutive Assembly. On 19th October representatives from Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina gathered in the Central Office of the Argentinean
Association of Microbiology, AAM, and Buenos Aires. Here they chose the initial Executive Board and approved the Statute for the Latin American Federation of Culture Col ections, with FELACC as the acronym (1).

Since then, FELACC as an Association, or its members, have been invited to participate in several scientific regional events, for example, the V SIRGEALC, Montevideo, Uruguay (2005); XVIII ALAM, Pucón, Chile (2006); XIX ALAM, Quito, Ecuador (2008); VI Latin American Congress for Mycology, Mar del Plata (2008); II Brazilian Symposium for Genetics Resources, Brasilia,
Brazil (2008); VII SIRGEALC, Pucón, Chile (2009); XX ALAM, Montevideo, Uruguay (2010) and the 12th International Conference on Culture Collections, ICCC- 12, Florianopolis, Brazil (2010).

In 1991  an  important precedent  was  set  when  a binational  Brazilian-Argentinean  Project, granted  by CABBIO (Brazilian-Argentinean Centre for Biotechnology), recognised the  importance of  Culture Collections  in the  region.   Dr  Faustino  Siñeriz,
representing  Argentina  and Dr  Vandelei  Pêrez  Canhos, representing  Brazil, were  the  respective Directors  of CABBIO.   A  course on  .Culture Collections  and their Services. was run by CABBIO, under the direction of Dr Vandelei  Pêrez  Canhos, in Campinas, Brazil, attended by  students  from  both countries.   This  course emphasized  the  relevance of  Biological  Resource Centers  (BRCs)  in Latin America.   Under  this  Project equipment used  in  Col ections  was  supplied  to those
BRCs  which were  already  well  established,  in order  to help them become more efficient.

FELACC operates  like other non-profit organizations,relying on  the voluntary  association  of  its  members. There are no  fees  or other commitments  except expecting members  to  combine  their  efforts  in order  to contribute to the rational use of microbial diversity for the benefit of the community as a whole.

From  2004, FELACC began the construction  of  a database that gathers  information  about cultures preserved    ex  situ, in the BRCs  of  the  Region.   This database is  constantly  upgraded and has  nine  entries, these are: Ful   Name / Acronym  ; Institution ; Postal Address, Tel/Fax,  Email  address, Homepage  ; Type  of Collection ; Name of the Director ; Name of the Curator ; Microorganisms  Preserved ; Number  of  Strains  and Services Carried Out.  It may be consulted on the AAM home page,   Recently  the database has  also become available on  the  WFCC-Network page,  

FELACC is  made up of  48  Institutional  (affiliated collections), 23 Ordinary  (individual  affiliations)  and  2 Cooperative  (sustaining affiliations)  members  from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela (Table 1, Figure 1).  

On the  whole, the regional  system  maintains  nearly 53.000  strains  of  bacteria, archeae, filamentous  fungi and yeasts, which include isolates from a wide variety of ecological niches in the region.  

FELACC activities  are  directed to promote  the development of  regional  collections  under  rules  and regulations  international y  applied to this  kind  of organization.   For the  development of  these purposes,the federation is organized into subcommittees allowing the development of a cooperative action.  The topics of these subcommittees  include: Quality  Management,Preservation  Methods, Bio-protection and Transport of Biological  Materials, Organization of  Courses  and
Scientific Meetings and Publications.  Every four months an  electronic  Newsletter is  published with general information and articles contributed by members.

Figure 1: FELACC Affiliate Countries

·Affiliate collections
·Ordinary members
·Cooperative members

Until now the number of Culture Collections affiliated  to FELACC is  considered  small  in relation to  the  total number  existing  in the region, but this  organization represents  a significant effort in the  maintenance of  a network  between  regional  institutions, in order to make the  conservation    ex  situ  microbial  diversity  more efficient.


1. Floccari M.  (2005) Federación  latinoamericana  de colecciones de cultivos microbianos. Agrociencia. 9: 417- 420.

2. Floccari M.,  Levis. S., Sfreddo E.,  Martos G.,  Lucero N.,  Leardini  N., Cabral D. &   Blumenfeld S.  (2004) Creation  of  a  Culture  Collection  Federation  for  Latin America and The Caribbean. WFCC Newsletter 38: 45.

3. Manfio G. & Pêrez Canhos V. (1996).  Culture Collections in  South  America.  In:  Culture Collections  to Improve the Quality of Life. Sanson et al.  Eds. ISBN 90- 70351-33-1 pp 217-220. 

4. Rodriguez Lemoine V. (1996). Venezuelan Center for Culture Collections (CVCM).  To new  institution  devoted to the  preservation  of  microbial diversity.  In:  Culture Collections to Improve the Quality of Life.  Sanson  et al. Eds. ISBN 90-70351-33-1 pp224-225