This award renews support for the operation of the E. coli Genetic Stock Center (CGSC) at Yale University. Escherichia coli is an important model organism and is perhaps the best understood cellular organism from a genetics and biochemistry standpoint. This high degree of understanding has made E. coli not just an important subject of research, but also the laboratory workhorse for studying a broad variety of organisms as well as an invaluable tool for biotechnology. The CGSC maintains a collection of ca. 27,500 cultures of genetically defined derivatives of E. coli K-12. There are over 8,000 different mutations represented in the strain collection with verified mutations in over 90% of the 4,111 identified genes in the sequenced E. coli K-12 genome. These cultures are distributed to researchers and educators in the US and over 70 countries worldwide. The CGSC provides information about strains, genes, gene products and genetic maps in a fully searchable database at our website (http://cgsc.biology.yale.edu). Importantly CGSC also acts as a source of expert information and advice for those researchers who have questions about using E. coli strains.
The CGSC provides cultures for educational purposes ranging from elementary school science fair projects to graduate courses in molecular genetics. It also supplies strains to researchers in industry, government and academic institutions studying a diverse range of subjects. The number of strains distributed by the Stock Center has increased 89% over the past 5 years and it is currently distributing ca. 7,000 strains annually in response to nearly 2,000 requests. Support provided through this award subsidizes ca. 54% of the direct costs of maintaining the Stock Center. User fees provide for the balance of the operating expenses.