In this issue

Microbiology Australia Microbiology Australia
Issue 3

Sustainable Use and Preservation of Biological Resources

Vertical Transmission

Climate change is one of the most important issues faced by our planet. As scientists, we seek to understand and find ways to prevent, and perhaps reverse, its effects. Although the impacts of climate change on the environment and extinction of animal and plant life are well studied, the consequences of climate change on microbes are largely unknown. We now understand that microbes underpin a healthy global ecosystem and that disruptions to microbial diversity often have devastating repercussions on the affected ecological niche. Indeed, chang...

The Microbiologists’ Warning: a Warning from All Microbiologists’ to Humanity

The Microbiologists’ Warning is a Consensus Statement proclaiming that microorganisms are so critical to achieving an environmentally sustainable future that ignoring them risks the fate of Humanity. It aims to raise awareness of the microbial world and make a call to action for microbiologists to become increasingly engaged in, and microbial research to become increasingly infused into, the frameworks for addressing climate change. We must learn not just how microorganisms affect climate change (including production and consumption of g...

Sustainable use and preservation of biological resources

Microorganisms, microbially derived biotechnological applications and as causative agents of human, animal and plant disease are becoming increasingly significant in national economies. However, there remains a significant information gap on their species, ecological and genetic diversity. Despite the recognition of their commercial value still little is known about their functional roles in sustaining global ‘life support systems’, such as in agriculture, forest, coastal and freshwater ecosystems as well as their detrimental role...

Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing

The Nagoya Protocol advances one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), namely ‘the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources'. The Protocol promotes equity in the sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources and encourages the reinvestment of benefits into the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems. Binding obligations established under the Protocol aim at creating greater legal certainty and transparency as well as mor...

Brazil, example of a non-Nagoya Protocol country

Brazil was one of the first countries to regulate access to genetic resources, and to associate traditional knowledge and benefit sharing through Provisional Act 2186-16 of 23 August 2001 for purposes of scientific research, bioprospecting, and technological development. After almost 15 years of many criticisms and demands from civil society and other sectors, Law 13,123 was sanctioned on 20 May 20151 and entered into force on 17 November 2015, revoking Provisional Act 2.186.

DSMZ: the European Union’s first Registered Collection under the Nagoya Protocol

The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol have created new challenges for international microbiological research. With the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in 2014, the European Union created a new voluntary legal mechanism, the Register of Collections, to help users of collections, including culture collections, have an easier path to Nagoya Protocol compliance by using a so-called ‘registered collection'. The Leibniz Institute DSMZ is the first, and so far only, collection to successfully be entered into the R...

Biological deposits for patenting purposes under the Budapest Treaty

A patent confers a limited-term right to exclude other parties from using an invention, in exchange for a comprehensive description of the invention. The granted claims of a patent define the scope of the right that is conferred.

International postal, quarantine and safety regulations

There are numerous legislative regulations that impact on microbiology, microbial Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs) and culture collections, with which all microbiologists must comply. These affect access for collection, handling, distribution/shipping and utilisation of microbial resources. Areas where regulations are triggered are international post, quarantine and safety. The legislation and supporting documents are often difficult to find and understand, therefore the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) has a long history in p...

Skerman and beyond: 2019 status of the Global Catalogue of Microorganisms

The World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC)-MIRCEN World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM) was set up as a data centre of WFCC and UNESCO World Network of Microbiological Resources Centres (MIRCEN). The WDCM is a vehicle for networking microbial resource centres of various types of microorganisms. It also serves as an information resource for the customers of the microbial resource centres ( The WDCM was established in 1966 by the late Professor V.B.D. Sker...

Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) VI: learning from type strains

Type strains of species are one of the most valuable resources in microbiology. During the last decade, the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) projects at the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and their collaborators have worked towards sequencing the genome of all the type strains of prokaryotic species. A new project GEBA VI extends these efforts to functional genomics, including pangenome and transcriptome sequencing and exometabolite analyses. As part of this project, investigators with interests in speci...

Australian medical mycology culture collections: fundamental resources for mycological diagnosis and research

Currently in Australia, there are four major medical mycology culture collections that form a close collaborative network. They provide fundamental resources for diagnosis and research and are part of the World Federation of Culture Collections.

Biodiscovery and the Queensland Plant Pathology Herbarium

The Queensland Plant Pathology Herbarium (BRIP) and its associated collection of fungal and bacterial cultures have obtained Australian and international recognition as critical resources for agricultural research and plant biosecurity. For decades, many key agricultural and mycological studies published in international journals have examined Australian reference specimens obtained from BRIP. The Queensland Plant Pathology Herbarium is now seeking to reposition itself as a significant provider of unique Australian cultures. This ambitious jour...

Biobanks – serum and cells – human and animals

The Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), CSIRO is a high-containment facility and a vital part of Australia's national biosecurity infrastructure. AAHL closely collaborates with veterinary and human health agencies globally, as approximately 70 per cent of emerging infectious diseases in people originate in animals. The facility is designed to allow scientific research into the most dangerous infectious agents in the world and contains a large collection of serum and cell lines.

Historical perspectives and new opportunities for Australian collections of microorganisms in the microbiome era

A new microbiology support program for Australian microbial resources centres is essential to take full advantage of the exciting information and biological materials emerging from molecular studies of microbiomes. At a time when taxonomic capacity is in decline, culture collections, with the appropriate level of infrastructure support and funding, are well positioned to enhance the outcomes of microbiome research. The importance of microbial biodiversity and its contribution to life on earth have never been more appreciated in the history of s...

ASM2019 report

EduCon 2019: event report

ASM Summer Student Research Awards: 2019

Book review

Vale Dr Brian Mee

Volume 40 Number 3

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