A microbial culture collection is “a living museum of microorganisms”. Since these organisms are not visible to un-aided eyes, their discovery, study, identification, nomenclature and their preservation pose a scientific challenge. The National Centre for Microbial Resource (formerly MCC) at NCCS, Pune is India’s answer to this challenge.
With more than 180,000 microorganisms (archaea, bacteria, fungi including yeasts) in its collection at present, NCMR is the single largest culture collection in the world, and has put India in the top three countries with the largest collections after USA and Japan. NCMR is the most unique culture collection as a major part of its collection is from diverse ecological niches of India, such as soils from Western Ghats, North East, mangroves, marine environment, industrial effluent polluted sites, and insect guts. NCMR is now an International Depository Authority (IDA) for the deposit of patent microorganisms under the Budapest Treaty as recognized by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. It is an affiliate member of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) and registered with the World Data Centre for Microorganisms. NCMR is also a Designated Repository under the Biodiversity Act of 2002 as recognized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Govt of India.
Within a span of eight years since its inception in 2009, NCMR has marked its presence across the globe. NCMR provides highest quality services to researchers in industry and academia in almost all states of India and other nations. We follow internationally accepted guidelines, validated protocols and a policy of no-compromise on quality to offer the following services: 1) deposit of cultures for the purposes of publication, security, national and international patent application; 2) supply of authenticated cultures for teaching, research and quality control program; and 3) identification and characterization of microorganisms.
With a strong focus on in-house research and periodic training of its own personnel, NCMR’s philosophy is “Science for Services and Services for Science.” NCMR has an excellent infrastructure and best in class expertise of scientists conducting innovative research in the fields of long-term preservation, identification, taxonomy and ecology, and publish in top-tier international journals. NCMR scientists play a vital role at the national and global level in these fields by serving on editorial boards of high-impact international journals and on executive committees of scientific societies in these fields.
NCMR is playing a pivotal role in the exploration and conservation of microbial diversity of India. With industrial and academic partnerships, NCMR is screening this rich resource for bioactive compounds beneficial to humans and the society, at large. While potential leads are being pursued for commercialization, NCMR remains determined to exploit this hidden treasure for its biotechnological benefits.