The Bioresources Technology Research Unit is made up of researchers from different fields in order to utilize and scientifically manage biodiversity, ranging from surveying and identification, preservation, utilization, conservation and legal management of biological resources. The Unit gives special emphasis to the utilization of biotechnology as a core technology to increase the value of commercial products, such as food and feed, enzyme products, drug and bioactive compounds and biocontrol agents.

Research Scope

  • Bioresources Diversity Program focuses on the fundamental research of the biology of plants and microbes (fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes) present in the forest and agricultural ecosystems. The program mainly focuses on the collection, isolation, identification and preservation of microbial cultures for BIOTEC in-house research programs and for the country’s official depository. Furthermore, the program contributes to the significant information on the biodiversity, physiology, ecology and host-microbe relationships as well as conducting legal and policy studies with the focus on legal management of biological resources and intellectual property management. Moreover, Bioresources Diversity Program aims to know the potentials of these microbes and plants and use them for applied purposes such as bioactive and enzyme screening, agricultural and industrial usages, as well as for sustainable community support and natural resource conservation.
  • Bioresources Utilization Program encompassesa wide range of research activities, from discovering the values to developing microbes and microbial-derived products for various applications. Our focuses include the exploration of microbes and metagenome libraries from niche environments to identify unique enzymes, and further development of enzymes products for food and feed production and other industrial processes. We also employ activity-guided isolation approach to identify novel bioactive compounds against human and plant pathogens from microorganisms.  Furthermore, we select microbes for their capability as biocontrol agents against important agricultural pests and strive to improve their efficacies and safety for field applications. Together, these endeavors aim to promote sustainable utilization of bioresources.
  • Systems Microbiology (SysMicrobe) Program aims to integrate seamlessly knowledge from computational and experimental methodologies in order to elucidate the complex and dynamic interactions within the microbial cell as a whole. With our expertise for strain engineering, bioinformatics and bioprocess development, this program is putting particular focus on interdisciplinary research dedicated to advancing the development of microbial systems, including yeast, fungi and bacteria, which have novel or specific characteristics/functions to foster the commercially sustainable processes for production of target products that have industrial and ecological relevance.

List of Laboratories

Highlights

  • Microbial culture collection (over 50,000 strains).
  • Fungal Herbarium (over 30,000 samples).
  • Chemical library of pure compounds and chemical profile databases of crude extracts, mainly from fungi and actinomycetes.
  • Metagenomic libraries of lignocelluloses-degrading microbial communities in environments with high plant biomass degradation, such as termite gut, peat swamp forest, sugarcane bagasse, as well as agricultural residue collection sites.
  • Novel compounds with biological activities such as anti-tuberculosis compounds, Hirsutellones A, B and C (US patent no. 7414069).
  • Pre-pilot synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).
  • Potential biocontrol agents such as Beauveria bassiana BCC 2660 (against aphid, brown planthopper and mealybug) and Vip3Aa, a vegetative insecticidal protein (against beet armyworm and leafworm).
  • Phytase-producing Aspergillus sp. licensed to an animal feed industry.
  • Low-cost process for production of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid (ARA).
  • High-cell-density cultivation for production of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
  • Integrated hydrolysis process for potential lignocellulosic agricultural by-products based on “one-for-all” thermal pretreatment technology.
  • Biomass-degrading microbial consortium for decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass in biotechnological processes.
  • A variety of databases and software for integrative computational biology and chemistry including sMOL Explorer, ESTplus, d-Omix, MicroPC, PlantDA, GIST, iCollect, LinkinPath, C-mii, MicroLive and ChemEx.

Major Equipment and Facilities

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectrometer/LC-MS Spectrometer
  • Infrared (IR) Spectrometer
  • Supercritical Fluid CO2 Extraction (SFE)
  • Fermentors (2-10L)
  • High Performance Computing system of IBM cluster computer (8-node, 256 cores, 1664 GB RAM, and 30TB storage)

bioresources technology unitDownload Research Profile (pdf)

Director

Dr. Lily Eurwilaichitr

Contact Address

Bioresources Technology Research Unit
National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC)
113 Thailand Science Park
Phahonyothin Road, Khlong Nueng, Khlong Luang
Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2564 6700
Fax: +66 (0) 2564 6707
Website: http://www.biotec.or.th/btu