By Noor Eszereen Juferi
- Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and WFCC-MIRCEN World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM) have established an international microorganisms research collaboration for UPM as a national entity for microbial culture collection.
UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Dato' Ir. Dr. Mohd. Saleh Jaafar, said the partnership is aiming to make microorganisms biodiversity conservation as one of the main national research agendas.
"This pact is leading towards establishing a national culture collection network in Malaysia to be better known as microbial culture collection entity among the scientific community locally and internationally," he said here today.
Prof. Dr. Salleh represented UPM in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Opening Ceremony of Microbial Culture Collection Management Seminar and Workshop 2013 here on 30 September.
Meanwhile, WDCM was represented by its Director, Dr. Juncai Ma, and the signing ceremony was witnessed by the President of the World Federation of Culture Collection (WFCC), Dr. Philippe Desmeth and the Director of Institute of Bioscience (IBS), UPM, Prof. Dr. Abdul Rahman Omar.
The ceremony was organized by Microbial Culture Collection Unit (UNiCC), Institute of Bioscience, UPM, and it was established in 2008 as the main culture collection unit that has been supporting research and teaching, focusing on microorganisms in food, agriculture and the environment.
UNiCC Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Raha Abdul Rahim, said UNiCC which is also a member of the World Federation of Culture Collection (WFCC), provides services that are conducted not only by UPM researchers but also from foreign universities and other research institutions in Malaysia.
"At the moment UNiCC provides services and expertise in the management of microbial culture collection, separation, identification, preservation and quality inspection of microorganism.
"UNiCC has also expanded its services by covering more areas such as antimicrobial assay and also as a storage service provider for recombinant microorganisms derived from the respective researches at UPM," he said.
In 2012, WDCM invited UNiCC as the first culture collection entity in Malaysia to participate in a project called the World Federation of Culture Collection of Microorganisms Global Catalogue (GCM), and the participation has since led to the formulization of the agreement.
"UNiCC is also expected to lead the formation of this network by making the agenda of microorganisms biodiversity conservation as one of the main national research agendas," she said. - UPM