What is the Czech Collection of Microorganisms?
The Czech Collection of Microorganisms (CCM) was founded in 1963 at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University and is currently embedded in the Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Sciences as a specialized research and service institution. The main activities of the CCM focus on the deposition, preservation and distribution of cultures of bacteria, archaea, filamentous fungi, yeasts and staphylococcal bacteriophages. The services offered by the CCM support basic and applied research, industrial/commercial applications, biotechnology and education. Many of the strains deposited at the CCM represent standard reference cultures for quality control required by human and animal clinical diagnostic laboratories. With all its activities, the CCM has become an internationally recognized repository for microbial resources, providing high quality expertise in microbial taxonomy, cultivation and characterization.
The CCM as a public service collection
Strains of bacteria, archaea, filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteriophages deposited in the CCM can be found in the Catalogue of Cultures.
bacteria and archaea (~ 1,700 species)
filamentous fungi and yeasts (~ 550 species)
staphylococcal bacteriophages and their host strains
The CCM serves as an exclusive microbial patent strains deposition centre in the Czech Republic granted a status of International Depositary Authority (IDA) for the preservation of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi for patent proceedings, according to the Budapest Treaty. The CCM therefore accepts and deposits patent cultures of microorganisms that are a part of a patent application.
Many of the strains maintaned in the CCM are unique and promote establishment of specialized subcollections such as a specialized collection of aquatic hyphomycetes, which contains about 500 strains (60 genera with 130 species) or a set of more than 8000 strains isolated from the environment and animals in Antarctica. The CCM continuously replenishes its bioresources and so actively contributes to the preservation of the gene pool and to the protection of the biodiversity of microorganisms ex situ.
Culture preservation methods
Long-term maintenance of viable cultures is ensured for most strains by lyophilization, storage in liquid nitrogen (at -196 °C) and in a deep-freeze box (at -70 °C). Storage under paraffin oil is used for non-sporulating filamentous fungi and aqueous hyphomycetes are preserved in distilled water.
The CCM actively cooperates with many national and foreign collections. It is registered with the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) under serial number 65, and is also a member of the European Culture Collections' Organization (ECCO) and the Federation of Czechoslovak Microorganism Collections (FCCM).
The research activities of CCM focus on the taxonomy of bacteria of the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes isolated from the environment, plants, animals and human clinical material, as well as on aquatic hyphomycetes and melanised fungi of the class Dothideomycetes.
Since 2008, CCM has been an active member of the Masaryk University's polar research programme, covering the microbiological part of the scientific programme. Every year, members of CCM participate in Antarctic expeditions and collect extensive samples from biotic (fish, birds, marine mammals, mosses) and abiotic (soils, waters, glaciers, cryoconites, permafrost) sources, resulting in exclusive and unique Antarctic microbial sub-collections. The collected Antarctic strains stored at CCM represent an incredible source of new properties for potential industrial, biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications. In addition, the Antarctic microbiota is an attractive material for educational purposes and student research activities in which CCM is actively involved.