The roles of Biological Resource Centres (BRCs), such as the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), have extended beyond their traditional maintenance and provision of curated microorganisms to the user community. A major driver for change has been the exponential increase in metagenomics and environmental sequencing data over the last few years. This has underlined a critical requirement for molecular information on reference biological materials, which would allow better taxonomic interpretation, greater biological understanding and additional exploitation of these data. This is especially relevant for the relatively poorly studied protists (algal/autotrophic as well as heterotrophic) and prokaryotic cyanobacteria, which despite their huge biodiversity, reflected in the genomic data that has been generated, are under-represented in BRCs worldwide. Here we describe the functionalities of the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) KnowledgeBase (http://www.ccap.ac.uk), developed as a one-stop shop for quality-controlled biological material, hyperlinked to manually curated molecular, bibliographic and taxonomic information. This has been built around the CCAP live collection, which constitutes one of the most genotypically diverse collections in the world with representatives of all the major eukaryotic lineages and the cyanobacteria.
- biological resource centre
- revised classification