NATIONAL AGRICULTURALLY IMPORTANT MICROBIAL CULTURE COLLECTION (NAIMCC): A NATIONAL REPOSITORY OF ICAR-NATIONAL BUREAU OF AGRICULTURALLY IMPORTANT MICROORGANISMS
Microorganisms represent the richest gamut of molecular and chemical diversity in nature, as they comprise the most diverse forms of life. India is home to billions of microbes and is one among 12 mega-biodiversity countries and 25 hotspots of the richest and highly endangered eco-regions of the world. Interest in the exploration of microbial diversity has been spurred by the fact that microbes are essential for life since they perform numerous functions essential for the biosphere that include nutrient cycling and environmental detoxification. The exploited microbial activities are augmentation, supplementation and recycling of plant nutrients, so vital to sustainable agriculture. Microbial diversity and its richness to the environment provide a huge reservoir of resources, which we can utilize for our benefit. Owing to the deterioration of environmental conditions, sustainability in crop productivity has remained an ever-challenging task for the scientists all over the world. Therefore, for agriculture, microbial diversity is one of the most fundamental aspects to maintain the global ecological balance and sustain soil health. It is of great concern that how and to what extent such environmental degradation affects microbial abundance and population dynamics. Therefore, cataloguing and preservation of agriculturally important microorganisms, become necessity of the present time for judicious microbial resource management, bio-prospecting and fundamental scientific research. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the aegis of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Government of India established ICAR- National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (NBAIM) in the year 2001 for collection, maintenance, conservation and supply of agriculturally important microorganisms (AIMs) all over the country. A landmark development of ICAR-NBAIM was the establishment of NAIMCC (National Agriculturally Important Microbial Culture Collection) in the year 2004.
National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Govt. of India has recognized ICAR-NBAIM culture collection (NAIMCC) as one of National Repositories of India. At present, NAIMCC is holding 6663 microbial accessions which include 3877 fungi, 2541 bacteria and actinomycetes and 245 cyanobacteria isolated from various extreme and unique ecological niches including arable land.
ICAR-NBAIM offers the facility for registration of elite microbial germplasm to facilitate the exchange of such germplasm among different national institutes/organizations under MoU for further research and commercialization. The NAIMCC has been registered as an affiliate member of WFCC and follows the guidelines and principles of WFCC and OECD (www.wfcc.info/ccinfo/collection/by_id/1060).
NAIMCC has state-of-art facilities for the maintenance, conservation and characterization of microorganisms. AIMs are preserved and maintained by at least two methods depending on type of microorganisms, i.e. short-term preservation through storage of microbial cultures in glycerol stock at -80ºC (fungi & bacteria) and mineral soil (fungi); long term storage through lyophilization (up to 25 years) and cryopreservation. Cyanobacterial cultures are exclusively being maintained by cultivation under active state. The cyanobacteria are exclusively being maintained under active culture. In addition, the Bureau has established a new Culture Storage Facility in the building of ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi for safe upkeep of the duplicate set of microbial cultures.
NAIMCC is also engaged in supply of pure cultures to various research organizations and provides microbial identification services along with associated knowledge. In 2008, Microbial Genomic Resource Repository (MGRR) was added to ICARNBAIM. MGRR is a facility that preserves the genetic materials of the agriculturally important microorganisms, maintained in selected hosts or cloned and maintained in plasmids, accompanying the data details.
Currently, NAIMCC is providing following services to cater the need of all stakeholders:
(a). Accessioning of microbial cultures deposited by different researchers of the country under ‘general deposit’ / ‘open deposit’, ‘safe deposit’ and ‘deposit for registration’.
(b). Services for safe deposit of cultures are being extended to researchers and private partners to develop microbe-based product for commercial purposes.
(c). Developed guidelines for registration of elite microorganisms and extend services for registration of elite microbes having commercial or biotechnological or agricultural potential.
(d). Microbial cultures for research, academic, teaching and for commercial purposes are being supplied to all stakeholders. During last 5 years, NAIMCC has supplied approximately 700 cultures to public and private sectors for research purpose only.
(e). ICAR-NBAIM through NAIMCC is facilitating services for identification of cultures received from industry and researchers for research purpose and for registration of microbial biopesticides for commercialization in compliance with Department of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (DPPQ&S), Faridabad, India (http://www.ppqs.gov.in). ICAR-NBAIM is a nodal agency designated by Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB & RC) for developing DNA fingerprints of microbial cultures to be registered as biopesticides and safe upkeep of registered microbes in NAIMCC for future reference.
(f) NAIMCC is facilitating DPPQ&S for import of cultures from abroad by Indian stakeholders for research and commercial purpose.
(g) NAIMCC is also conducting trainings and educational programme for dissemination of knowledge to the all sectors of the societies for creating awareness of biodiversity, conservation and utilization of microbes.
NAIMCC has developed linkages with Indian collections namely MTCC, Chandigarh, NMRC, Pune, NFFCC, Pune, VTCC, Hisar etc for exchange of information for developing policy of access benefit sharing of microbial resources under Nagoya Protocol with National Biodiversity Authority (NBA). ICAR- NBAIM organized two meetings to develop network among microbial culture collections in India (Fig.2). The bureau extended know-how for development of “Microbial Genetic Resource Bank” to a delegation from National Institute of Biotechnology, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2014.
In recent years, ICAR- NBAIM has also started working on the utilization of microorganisms conserved in NAIMCC. The cultures have been used to develop formulations for nutrient management and soil health. Several formulations namely BioPhos, BioPhos+, BioZinc, Biopotash, RhizoNBAIM, Bio NPK and BioGrow have been developed that can be used to curtail about 25-30% of the chemical fertilizers besides improving the soil health. NAIMCC maintains a collection of cultures used for biocontrol of insect pests and fungal pathogens. BioPulse, a flyash based formulation consisting of Trichoderma harzianum and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens for control of Fusarium wilt in chickpea was developed. Treatment with formulation could suppress wilt disease by 40% and increased the grain yield by 15% in chickpea on farmers’ field.
Eco-Green Fungicide, a vermi-based bioformulation of Trichoderma viride, Eco-Pesticide, a talc based bioformulation of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Green Fungicide a talc based bioformulation of Trichoderma harzianum were also developed that could suppress different plant pathogens. The Bureau organized two workshops on “Problems and Prospects for Commercialization of Trichoderma” and “Microbe based Technologies for Soil health and Plant nutrition” on May 24 and 25, 2018 respectively (Fig.3). The workshop was attended by academia, entrepreneurs and policy makers. In a short span of time, NAIMCC is going from strength to strength and has attained the status of acclaimed repository for agriculturally important microorganisms.
Dr. Pawan Kumar Sharma
Principal Scientist (Plant Pathology)
National Agriculturally Important Microbial Culture Collection (NAIMCC)
ICAR-National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (ICAR-NBAIM)
Kushmaur, Maunath Bhanjan 275 103, Uttar Pradesh
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Web: www.nbaim.icar.gov.in & www.mgrportal.org.in
For further detail information of microbial catalogue, culture supply, Safe Deposition, Microbial Germplasm Registration please visit www.mgrportal.org.in.