National Centre for Microbial Resource, Pune is India’s microbial culture collection centre recognized by World Federation of Culture Collections (WFCC). The main objective of NCMR is to provide authentic microbial cultures to industries as well as academic and research institutes.
Culture collections play an important role in the area of biotechnology and are valuable resources for the sustainable use of microbial diversity and its conservation. But their meaningful exploitation is possible only if the properties of cultures are properly documented and the information is easily accessible. National Centre for Microbial Resource at NCCS Pune established by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India is one among country’s largest culture collection centres. It is recognized as an International Depository Authority for the deposition of patent cultures under Budapest Treaty and designated national repository under the Biodiversity Act 2002.
NCMR focuses on fundamental research in the fields of microbial diversity, microbial taxonomy, microbial genomics and proteomics etc. One of the main objective of NCMR is providing microbial culture related services. NCMR provides multiple services like culture deposit, culture supply, identification/characterization of microorganisms, genomics/ metagenomics, imaging by scanning electron microscopy, phytoplasma detection, testing for microbial load for food safety certifications etc.
At present, NCMR accepts bacteria, fungi, and plasmids belonging to hazard group 1 and 2. Culture deposition service at NCMR is divided into following categories:
General deposit, IDA deposit and safe deposit.
A. General deposit: Cultures deposited under this category are accessible to public for teaching and /or scientific research and no restriction is imposed. NCMR reserves the right to reject a request for deposit of culture. Unidentified cultures are not accepted for deposit under this category. Once accepted and accessioned by NCMR, a culture cannot be withdrawn from the collection. There is no fee for such deposits.
B. International Depository Authority (IDA): Microorganisms deposited under IDA fulfill the requirement of the deposit for the purposes of patent procedures in all states signatory to the Budapest Treaty. NCMR is the second IDA in India. All IDAs operate as per the regulations of the Budapest treaty. The advantage of depositing microorganisms under IDA is almost similar forms are used and uniform procedures are followed in dealing with such deposits. Confidentiality and security of such deposits are maintained by NCMR. NCMR is obliged to keep the deposits under IDA for the period of 30 years from the date of deposit.
C. Safe deposit: Confidentiality and security is maintained while depositing such cultures. These cultures are not listed in the catalogue. There is an annual fee for such deposits. Depositor needs to sign an agreement with NCMR for making such a deposit.
NCMR supplies cultures listed in NCMR catalog (hard copy/electronic) for teaching and research purposes.
For more information on culture deposit and culture supply services at NCMR, visit following website: http://22.214.171.124/services
In the next article, we will learn about other services offered at NCMR.