The advancement and accessibility of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have rapidly transformed microbiological research. To date, sequencing-based applications have relied on fully assembled reference genomes for bioinformatics analyses, particularly for variant calling in clinical microbiology. However, despite the availability of consensus-driven genome sequences in public databases, the quality, completeness, authenticity, accuracy, and traceability of genomic data are inadequate. The lack of standards for genomic data leads to potential errors as researchers attempt to interpret their genomic information and make impactful correlations.
As part of our Enhanced Authentication Initiative, ATCC addressed these underlying problems by implementing a robust NGS and genome assembly workflow to enrich the characterization of the biological materials in our collection. The result is authenticated ATCC biological materials paired with reference-quality microbial genomes with corresponding metadata that are now publicly available to the scientific community on the ATCC Genome Portal.