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Belgian Co-Ordinated Collections Of Micro-Organisms (BCCM)
Hosting Legal Entity
Belgian Science Policy Office
Louise Avenue 231, Brussels, PO: 1050 (Belgium)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 1983
Scientific Description
The Belgian Co-Ordinated Collections Of Micro-Organisms (BCCM) consortium is one of the most important research infrastructures for culture collections in the world, both in terms of the size and quality of the collections (bacteria, yeasts, molds, diatoms, and plasmids and DNA libraries), and its expertise. Not only does BCCM keep more than 64,000 quality controlled, characterised and documented units of biological material, but it also offers its expertise through services and partnership projects.The BCCM consortium is composed of 7 decentralised culture collections that are coordinated by a central team at the Belgian Science Policy Office. Each collection is part of a binomial with its host laboratory. The close cooperation between the two partners leads to an optimal balance between research and conservation activities.Moreover, the cooperation between the collections leads to the exchange and implementation of best practices for the conservation of microbial genetic resources and the harmonised application of international standards and regulations in microbiology.The BCCM collections study and conserve the biodiversity and contribute to research, development and innovation activities in biotechnology and life sciences. Accession, control, preservation, storage and supply of biological material and related information is ISO9001 certified in the frame of public deposits, safe deposits and patent deposits.

RI Keywords
Culture collection, Genetic resources, Microbiological biodiversity, Patent deposits
RI Category
Collections of Biological Resources (e.g. Microorganisms, Biobanks and Seed Banks)
Scientific Domain
Biological and Medical Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Health and Food
Microbiology Methods

Isolation, identification, characterisation of microbiological material; susceptibility testing; bioassays; plasmid profile analysis; sequence analysis of non-characterized plasmids; cloning on demand.


Specialist services in microbiology.

Storage and Supply of Microbiological Samples

Deposit of material in public, safe or patent collection. Supply in accordance with international regulations.


Training in general collection management, taxonomy, identification and preservation of micro-organisms.

DNA and Biomolecular Analysis Laboratories
Extended Characterization Laboratories

Laboratories to handle and study cultures of biohazard groups 1, 2 and 3, including quarantine and other pest organisms.

Cell Culture Facility
Stock Storage Rooms

Rooms with limited access for storage of the master- and distribution stocks under controlled conditions; rooms at different sites for maintaining back-up collections.

Facility of Preservation of Cultures

By freeze-drying or by cryopreservation at ultra-low temperatures.

MIRRI Microbial Resources Research Infrastructure
WFCC World Federation for Culture Collections
ECCO European Culture Collections' Organisation
Date of last update: 09/05/2017
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