PROJECT DETAIL: Microbial-type culture collection
Following are the details of the project:
The economic importance of microbes on the well-being of plants and animals, including man, is enormous. Microorganisms form the basis of numerous industrial and biotechnological processes. Although, Nigeria is very rich in bio-resources it lacks a viable Microbial Culture Collection (MCC) to effectively harness these potentials. Currently, most typing work on microbial isolates is carried out overseas at heavy financial costs and inevitable difficulties. This ugly trend has taken its toll on most researchers and ultimately discouraged them from carrying out further meaningful work on microbial isolation and characterization.
Furthermore, Nigeria spends over N1billion on the importation of different types of microbe-based industrial raw materials such as antibiotics, vitamin concentrates, fruit juice concentrates industrial enzymes, microbial cultures and toxins, etc. This is due to the absence of reliable culture collection centers where micro-organisms can be maintained properly and supplied promptly on demand to use in the production of these products. There is, therefore, the need to establish MCC in Nigeria considering the biodiversity of the country and the increasing demand for fully characterized microbial strains for various uses.
Consequently, Council in collaboration with the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Sheda Science and Technology complex (SHETCHO) produced a Blue-Print for the establishment of a National Microbial Culture Collection Centre (MCC). The Center would collect, maintain and distribute microbial strains for identification and classification of microbes of industrial interest, industrial production of microbial enzymes, quality control assays, etc. Further to this effort, RMRDC has held consultative and sensitization fora to map out strategies for the establishment of MCC.
With its full take off, the MCC would have great impact on the economy in terms of savings on foreign exchange used for the importation of microbial-based resources which is put in excess of N1billion, creation of job opportunities, reduction of poverty and improvement of the wellbeing of the populace. The availability of microbe-based raw materials would also boost industrial activities especially food, pharmaceutical and agribusiness. Microbial collection is also necessary for conservation of the nation’s biodiversity.