The Microbial Depository Centre (MDC NAS RA) of the Centre of Microbiology and Microbial Depository of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia was established in 1993 as the foundation for the National Biological Resources Centre of Armenia. It represents leading expertise in general and applied microbiology. Its activities cover broad R&D areas of priority national programs in biotechnology. The Centre is a successor institution in the study of microbial deterioration and degradation of synthetic polymers used in space exploration. The microbial holdings of the Centre comprise of more than 10,000 well-characterized non-pathogenic strains of microorganisms of scientific and industrial importance. The Centre has pilot-scale installations and the necessary facilities for the maintenance of microorganisms and wide areas of biotechnology research. The Centre also functions as the lead institution of the NGO “Research Center for Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”, established in 2003.
The Institute of Microbiology of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences focuses on two main directions in scientific investigations: (1) study of ecological and biochemical properties of microorganisms isolated from oil-contaminated ecosystems and the various ecological and climatic zones of Azerbaijan, and (2) microbial conversion of plant biomass by different groups of bacteria and fungi isolated from diverse regions of the country. Among the highly active hydrocarbons-degrading strains special emphasis is put on extremophiles, as well as on biosurfactants-producing bacteria.
The Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Academy of Sciences of Georgiawas established in 1971. The internationally well-known Institute currently employs a staff of 170. In the past, the Institute had great contributions to the development of general biochemistry and the study of basic and applied problems in plant and microbial biochemistry. Today’s R&D focuses on the detection and analysis of biologically active molecules and the selection of microorganisms that represent different taxonomic groups. Bioflavonoid food additives, essential oils, natural colors of plant origin, and microorganisms are among the commercial products on the domestic market. The microbial culture collection of well-characterized bacteria, actinobacteria, yeasts, and fungi comprises of strains that were isolated from different soil-climatic zones of the Caucasus. The Institute has pilot-scale production facilities and analytical equipment to study different metabolites.
MCC-SCC is the result of a recently completed two-year project generously funded by the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) entitled “Establishment of a biotechnology resources network of microbial culture collections in the South Caucasus region.” The participanting institutions represent national culture collections with the aim to collect, study, and maintain diverse microbial strains of scientific and industrial importance.
The Project combined microbiology research and culture maintenance efforts in major institutions of the region by establishing an efficient network of biotechnology resources. The main goals of the Project were (1) to enable comprehensive study of microbial diversity in the South Caucasus region; (2) isolate and characterize strains with unique scientific or industrial importance; and (3) establish the network of regional microbial culture collections and a joint web-based searchable database. MCC-SCC became a critical piece in integration in the region. It facilitates national programs solving problems in ecology, energy, food security, and beyond. At the same time, the collections have opened up their unique holdings to the international scientific community and industry to the benefit of all.
MCC-SCC is the network of research and service collections in the countries of the South Caucasus region. The collections maintain over 3,000 laboratory and industrial cultures of microorganisms, including many type and reference strains. Most of the species maintained by MCC-SCC have been included in the World Directory of Collections of Cultures of Microorganisms of the World Data Centre.
MCC-SCC offers services, such as supply of cultures upon request and deposition of cultures, while maintaining an extensive research portfolio related to microbial strain preservation and maintenance and beyond.
MCC-SCC comprises of leading microbiology research institutions of the South Caucasus region::
- Microbial Depository Centre of the Centre of Microbiology and Microbial Depository of the National
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.
- Institute of Microbiology of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and
- Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia