The Bioresources Technology Program was established in 1996 with the focus on research and development of the preservation, utilization and conservation of bioresources. The program has a special emphasis on the utilization of biotechnology as a core technology to increase the value of commercial products, such as food and feed products, enzyme products, drug and bioactive compounds and bio-control products. Since the Program was established over a decade ago under the BIOTEC Central Research Unit, the program has generated a substantial amount of research output. In 2007, the Bioresources Technology Program was separated from the BIOTEC Central Research unit to set up a new research unit called the Bioresources Technology Unit with the aim of conducting research focused on conservation and effective utilization of bioresources. The Bioresources Technology Unit is now the major research program of BIOTEC, taking up one-third of BIOTEC’s research staff whose research is coordinated to strongly support BIOTEC’s Bioresources Technology Program.
The Bioresources Technology Unit houses 13 laboratories ranging from survey and identification of microorganisms, preservation, utilization, conservation and legal management of bioresources. This research unit is the most advanced bioresources research unit in Thailand as it is made up of researchers in different fields in order to utilize and scientifically manage biodiversity. Researchers in the unit are working together with the aim of using biotechnology to explore novel high value products, such as drugs and enzymes (Figure 1, 2). Areas of expertise include:
- Taxonomy of microorganisms especially fungi, yeasts and actinomycetes
- Developing throughput biological assays
- Natural product chemistry
- Pre-pilot scale production of commercially valuable bio-products
- Enzyme discovery
- Recombinant expression systems
- Biodiversity and ecology of plant, animal and microorganism
The Unit has established service facilities which provide excellent biotechnology resources to be shared by biotechnology research communities, and has also developed outreach functions including the transfer of technology from the laboratory to private industry.
Figure 1 Diagram illustrating the connection of research activities between laboratories under the Bioresources Technology Research Program
Figure 2 Process of increasing microbial value