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Treasures of Italian Microbial Culture Collections: An Overview of Preserved Biological Resources, Offered Services and Know-How, and Management

TitoloTreasures of Italian Microbial Culture Collections: An Overview of Preserved Biological Resources, Offered Services and Know-How, and Management
Tipo di pubblicazioneArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Anno di Pubblicazione2024
AutoriMoretti, M., Tartaglia J., Accotto G.P., Beato M.S., Bernini V., Bevivino Annamaria, Boniotti M.B., Budroni M., Buzzini P., Carrara S., Cerino F., Cocuzza C.E., Comunian R., Cosentino S., d‘Acierno A., De Dea P., Garzoli L., Gullo M., Lampis S., Moretti A., Natale A., Perrone G., Persiani A.M., Perugini I., Pitti M., Poli A., Pollio A., Reale A., Ricciardi A., Sbrana C., Selbmann L., Settanni L., Tosi S., Turchetti B., Visconti P., Zotti M., and Varese G.C.
RivistaSustainability (Switzerland)

Microorganisms, microbiomes, and their products (e.g., enzymes, metabolites, antibiotics, etc.) are key players in the functioning of both natural and anthropized Earth ecosystems; they can be exploited for both research purposes and biotechnological applications, including fighting the big challenges of our era, such as climate change. Culture collections (CCs) and microbial Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs) are repositories of microorganisms that investigate and safeguard biodiversity and facilitate the scientific and industrial communities’ access to microbial strains and related know-how by providing external users with skills and services. Considering this, CCs and mBRCs are pivotal institutions for the valorisation of microorganisms, the safeguarding of life, and the fostering of excellent bioscience. The aim of this review is to present the state-of-the-art of Italian CCs and mBRCs, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. Italy is, indeed, a hotspot of microbial biodiversity with a high rate of endemism and incredible potential, not only for the food and beverage sector (i.e., “Made in Italy” products), where microorganisms can have a beneficial or a spoiling function, but also to guarantee environmental sustainability and foster the bioeconomy through the design of new bioprocesses and products. However, weaknesses, such as the lack of management rules in accordance with international quality standards, are also analysed and ways of overcoming them are discussed. In this context, an overview is given of the Joint Research Unit MIRRI-IT and the European-funded SUS-MIRRI.IT project, which aims to improve the management and sustainability of Italian microbial collections, and serves as a starting point for an innovative revolution in the context of CCs and mBRCs worldwide. © 2024 by the authors.


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Citation KeyMoretti2024