The majority of the deposited strains are extremophilic filamentous fungi and yeast. However, there are also strains of bacteria and archaea. The number of deposited strains is at present more than 9,000, which are divided between 5,400 filamentous fungi, 3,300 yeast, 560 bacteria, 48 arcahea, and 2 algae. 

Within the Microbial Culture Collection Ex there are strains preserved that are dedicated to research and screening, model organisms, patented strains, reference and type strains. Within certain limitations, these preserved cultures are at disposal of the domestic and international scientific community, and of industry, universities, research institutes, and other institutions and researchers. 



Preservation of microorganisms in the Microbial Culture Collection Ex


Cultures preserved in the Microbial Culture Collection Ex are all kept in a metabolically inactive state, to retain as best as possible their original characteristics. The most important preservation methods used are freeze-drying, preservation in freezers at temperatures of -80 °C, in liquid nitrogen at -196 °C, and in liquid nitrogen vapour below -140 °C. Only microorganisms that do not respond well to cryo-preseravtion or freeze-drying are kept in the form of active growth on agar plates, in test tubes covered with sterile mineral oil, or adsorbed on silcagel granules.


Identification of microorganisms


The taxonomic identification of the isolates is performed with the help of different light microscopes, image processing software, and transmission/ scanning electron microscopy. There is also the necessary equipment for DNA isolation, electrophoresis, and PCR. For the investigation of molecular mechanisms of adaptation to extreme conditions, different molecular biological techniques are used, including PCR, UV-VIS spectrophotometry, electrophoresis (for analyses of DNA and proteins), a UV system for gel documentation, centrifuges, and pulsed field gel electrophoresis. For the analysis of genomic and transcriptome data, a special high-throughput computer system (BioLinux) and the necessary additional software programmes are available. 


Microbial Culture Collection Ex data management: the Biotree programme 


For the management of the Microbial Culture Collection Ex data, the Biotree software programme was developed in collaboration with the Digisar d.o.o. company. The data kept include: genus, species, Ex identification number, origin, category, price, the person who isolated it, the person who identified it, habitat, location. 


As the value of a collection depends not only on the quality of the strains, but equally on the amount and accuracy of the data attached to them, the amount of information is constantly updated. The available Biotree database allows random information retrieval and not only gives access to strain data, but in many cases also to the strain ecology, its pathogenic potential, biotechnological applications, literature, illustrations, and on-line information presente elsewhere.