Biotech Updates

Embrapa Improves Microbial Collection

June 8, 2012

The Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA), the country's state-owned company particularly affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture devoted to agricultural researches in the country, has launched an innovative project to further ensure the quality of microorganism collection of the company and to meet the demands of both local and international markets.

The project, entitled "Corporate Management Model for Collections of Micro-organisms, Embrapa - GESTCOL" will improve the company's management and collection system of microorganisms using benchmarking. Benchmarking is a knowledge management practice wherein organizations compare their organizational knowledge management structures and activities to their partner organizations to see the best practices that they may acquire, and to apply these knowledge management systems/practices to their own organizations.

In Brazil, the company will visit the collections of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and the State University of Campinas. Overseas, they will collaborate with the Leibniz Institute of DSMZ (Germany), Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (Belgium), CBS (Netherlands) and the Pasteur Institute (France).

According to Clarissa Silva Pires de Castro, project leader and researcher at EMBRAPA's Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Division, the company aims to meet the international quality standards set by international organizations for standardization, among them are ISO Guide 34, ISO / IEC 17025:2005, and OECD Best Practice Guidelines for Biological Resource Centres.

Since its establishment in 1973, EMBRAPA has been collecting microorganisms which include fungi, bacteria, and viruses. The company distribute the microorganisms in its various units to preserve those with various features like traits related to biological pest control, soil fertility and those with industrial interests and causal pathogens in plant and animal diseases.

See the original article in Portuguese