Wine microorganism culture collection

The Collection

The AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection (AWMCC) is a world-class repository of diverse, wine-relevant strains of yeast and bacteria that can be readily accessed by Australian wine producers and researchers. The collection contains more than >5,000 strains, a deletion library of ~5,000 strains, and thousands of additional strains isolated from bioprospecting projects that are not yet characterised. The AWMCC has been built over decades with input from Australian wineries, microbial strain development programs at the AWRI, and by sourcing reference strains from other culture collections. It is a very valuable resource for Australian wine producers and is used by the AWRI to identify yeast and bacterial strains that have novel characteristics of importance to winemakers.

The AWMCC is supported by Australian wine producers through funding by Wine Australia. For quality assurance, internationally recognised best practices following OECD guidelines are used by the AWMCC, thereby ensuring a high level of confidence in the services provided to the wine industry and researchers.

Available microbial strains

Included in the AWMCC are winery isolates, reference strains and research strains. For information on some of the available strains, visit the available strains page or contact the AWRI Culture Collection.

Depositing yeast and bacterial strains into the AWMCC

The AWMCC provides a secure storage facility for microorganisms. The primary purpose of the Collection is the storage of wine-associated yeast and bacterial strains but microorganisms from other food and beverage fermentations may also be deposited.

There are several advantages to depositing and storing yeast and bacterial strains in the AWMCC rather than storing them yourself. These include: reduced expenses, identification of strains, maintenance in appropriate storage conditions by expert microbiology staff and free access to your strains (up to two free retrievals per year for Grape Research Levy Payers).

Many peer-reviewed scientific journals now require that all strains used in a published study be deposited in a recognised culture collection; the AWMCC fulfils this role. Please note that the AWMCC is not accredited for storage of microorganisms submitted in patent applications.

Research organisations can deposit individual strains or their microbial collection into the AWMCC.

Identification of deposited strains

AWMCC staff can assist with the isolation and identification of deposited yeast and bacterial strains. The current identification procedures used are ITS/16S sequencing. The Collection accepts deposits of pure cultures of microorganisms. Mixed cultures from ferments may also be deposited and retrieved but no strain identification is included as part of the standard service due to the potentially large numbers of species that may be present in a single ferment culture. For strain identification from mixed cultures or for identification of non-deposited strains and for wine microbiological services, contact Affinity Labs at or 08 8313 0444.

Services provided by the Wine Microorganism Culture Collection


For further information contact or 08 8313 6600.

Terms and conditions

The Terms and Conditions for depositing microbial strains into, or receiving microbial strains from, the AWMCC will be managed through a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

Microbial cultures are living creatures, and as such, the time frame to grow and deliver them is varied. Please allow 2 weeks as a nominal period to receive cultures. We will attempt to get them to you as soon as possible.

Fees for yeast and bacterial strains

All strains are provided as live cultures on agar slopes. Assistance with propagation of yeast and bacterial strains from agar slope to a starter culture can be provided.

Distribution of cultures, cost per strain

  • Australian grape and wine levy payers – $60.00
  • Non-levy payers – $120.00
  • Australian teaching institutions – $60.00
  • Outside of Australia – $120.00

All fees are in Australian Dollars (AUD), and exclude GST, and postage/courier costs.


Bartowsky, E. (2008) The AWRI wine microorganism culture collection: a treasure trove of yeast and bacteria strains for the future. Aust. NZ Grapegrower Winemaker 537: 101-103 (click here to view abstract or order a copy of the article).

Forgan, A., Dillon, S. 2017. The AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection. Tech. Rev. 231: 12-15.