Management and optimisation of the AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection
The AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection (AWMCC) contains over 10,000 yeast and bacterial strains including yeast genome deletion libraries, proprietary strains, and natural isolates from Australian wineries. In addition, the collection is a largely untapped resource of microbial diversity which, if properly characterised, has the potential to greatly enhance microbial strain development projects.
Ongoing use of the culture collection is expected for future Wine Australia-funded projects, which will lead to the generation and/or isolation of many novel yeast and bacteria. Efficient use of the collection will require a reorganisation of storage facilities (including the off-site duplicate collection), and an update of the existing collection database into a format that is amenable to high throughput screening and characterisation. In addition, quality control (QC) of new depositions and existing strains within the collection, will be required on an ongoing basis, and technological advances may provide opportunities to improve existing QC regimes. Once the collection has been organised for high throughput screening, large scale genotyping and phenotyping will be feasible.
Identification, storage and distribution of microbial strains
In 2018/2019, a total of 2,690 yeast and bacterial strains were submitted to the AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection (AWMCC) by researchers and wineries, including almost 2,300 from the bioprospecting project. This brings the total in the collection to approximately 18,900. During the year, the AWMCC distributed 637 microbial strains from cryogenic stocks. A new robotic incubator was installed to complement the high throughput liquid handling robot to be used for future high throughput screening of the culture collection. Laboratory microorganism handling procedures were also reorganised to more efficiently comply with legislative requirements.