Abstract

Many discoveries in the life sciences have been made using material from living stock collections. These collections provide a uniform and stable supply of living organisms and related materials that enhance the reproducibility of research and minimize the need for repetitive calibration. While collections differ in many ways, they all require expertise in maintaining living organisms and good logistical systems for keeping track of stocks and fulfilling requests for specimens. Here, we review some of the contributions made by living stock collections to research across all branches of the tree of life, and outline the challenges they face.

Comments

If your username is different from your full name, we require you to identify yourself within the comment itself. Comments are checked by a moderator (and/or an eLife editor) before they appear. Comments should be constructive, relevant to the article, conform to our terms and conditions, and include any pertinent competing interests.