BIOTEC and the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) of Japan signed a 3-year MOU to conduct joint program on the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. The signing was held at NITE Headquarter in Tokyo on 11 March 2008, with Prof. Morakot Tanticharoen, BIOTEC Director and Prof. Makoto Misono, NITE President, leading representatives from each party.
The BIOTEC-NITE collaboration started in February 2005 with a 3-year MOU which has recently been concluded early this year. Under the previous MOU, two major activities were achieved: one being the collaboration between BIOTEC Culture Collection (BCC) and NITE Biological Resource Center (NBRC) and the other being the study of taxonomy and application of acetic acid bacteria, xylariaceous fungi and yeast by taxonomist teams of NITE and BIOTEC. Through the regular exchange of scientists and close communication between research teams, at least 21 new species of microbes were discovered and another 61 species are being verified as potential new species. A total of 10 joint publications were produced and another 8 articles in preparation. The exchange of biological materials was performed in compliance with national laws and regulations of the country of origin. As BIOTEC always places utmost importance on building up research capability of the nation, this collaborative program has built up BIOTEC capability in bacterial and yeast taxonomy, and the Center now uses the expertise to assist neighboring countries, through BIOTEC HRD Program for Neighboring Countries.
For the next 3 years, in addition to an on-going work on acetic acid bacteria, xylariaceous fungi and yeast, both BIOTEC and NITE agreed to expand the research coverage to lactic acid bacteria in fermented foods, aero-aquatic fungi and exploitation of yeasts for bio-energy production.
Posted on 19 March 2008.