Software for keeping track on lab strain collections?

David R. Boone boone at
Wed Feb 14 11:53:44 EST 1996


To my knowledge, the only currently available database designed for use 
by culture collections to record information about strains, including 
phenetic characteristics and accession and culture storage information 
is MICRO-IS.  I believe this program is currently used by ATCC.  It is 
currently available only as a dos program that is not particularly 
friendly to the very casual (or infrequent) user, but is pretty 
straightforward for frequent users.  New versions of these programs are 
currently being written to run in windows and (eventually) mac 
environments, and the new software appears to be much more 
user-friendly for the occasional user; I believe the windows version of 
MICRO-IS will be available this summer, but for information about these 
programs, contact Micah Krichevsky (micahk at  

Bergey's Manual Trust ( 
and Williams & Wilkins 
( have plans to publish 
an electronic database including characteristics recorded in Bergey's 
Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (9) plus some data on species that 
have been defined since that publication.  Plans are to release this 
database with Microsoft's "jet engine" (the basis of Microsoft's Access 
database program) including a front end that will allow the user to 
input data on his or her own strains; this may allow the database to be 
used to track information about strains in a culture collection, 
including both characteristics and accession information.  Permissions 
at various levels could also be set for individuals in a multi-user 
environment.  I believe (but I'm not sure) that all or most of these 
features would be available to users without a license to Micorsoft's 
database software Access, although an Access license would allow 
additional power to modify the database.

An advantage in using the Bergey's database would that when data are 
recorded for strains in a collection, these data could be compared with 
the phenetic information defined for species and genera in the Bergey's 

> In article <4fd10a$sl at>, klas at (Finn K.
> Vogensen) wrote:
> >We are at the moment considering to build a multiuser computer based 
> >strain registration system, since our old fasioned "strain log book" 
> >no longer works due to the number of strains we have, and the number 
> >of persons using it.
> >
> >Before doing so, we would like to know if you are avare of such
> >systems, how user friendly they are, if they are commercially
> >available and at what price.
> >
> >We are interested in a flexible, multiuser system, with extended
> >copying facilities, automatic lognumber designation, automatic 
> >location designation, etc.
> >
> >If you know of such systems I will be happy to know.
> >
> >Finn Vogensen at fkv at

David R. Boone, Professor of Environmental Microbiology
Oregon Graduate Institute, Portland; 503-690-1146
boone at;

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