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. Its goal is to preserve and provide biological resources for Australian wine producers and researchers, facilitating scientific, industrial, agricultural and environmental applications. The collection protects intellectual property by providing controlled access to specified deposited strains.

The collection contains more than 5,000 yeast and bacterial isolates. It has been built over decades with input from Australian wineries, as well as microbial strain development programs and bioprospecting programs at the AWRI and elsewhere. It includes beneficial fermentative organisms and those more often associated with spoilage. Special compilations such as the Wine Yeast Gene Deletion Collection also form part of the AWMCC.

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

The AWMCC includes 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. 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. 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. The AWMCC is not accredited for storage of microorganisms submitted in patent applications.

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

Microbial isolates can be deposited into the AWMCC under two categories:

  • Open deposit – Open deposits are intended to be accessible through the AWMCC to other researchers or companies so that the benefits of the collection’s resources can be more broadly shared. Our open deposit materials transfer agreement describes the conditions under which open deposits are made.
  • Safe deposit – Safe deposits are available for depositors who require secure and confidential storage solutions for their microbial resources. Safe deposits will only be available to the individual or organisation that deposited the material. Subsequent retrieval costs will apply in addition to the cost of deposit.

Identification of deposited strains

AWMCC staff can assist with isolating and identifying deposited yeast and bacterial strains. The current identification procedures used are ITS and 16S PCR products. The AWMCC accepts deposits of pure cultures of microorganisms. Mixed cultures from ferments may also be deposited and retrieved but identification of strains in mixed cultures is not a standard service due to the potentially large numbers of species present in a single ferment culture.

Please contact the AWRI helpdesk ( or 08 8313 6600) for general wine microbiology assistance.

For wine microbiological services including strain identification from mixed cultures or identification of non-deposited strains, contact Affinity Labs ( or 08 8313 0444).


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.

Schmidt, S., Dillon, S. 2022. The AWRI wine microorganism yeast and bacterial screening collection [Dataset]. Dryad.

Services provided by the AWMCC

The Culture Collection team

The AWMCC is managed by Jenny Bellon and Simon Schmidt. 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 Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA).


Strain requests
The costs of strain requests are subsidised for Australian grape and wine levy payers and Australian researchers. Costs in Australian dollars (AUD), including GST but excluding postage/courier costs, are as follows:

  • Australian grape and wine levy payers – $132.00
  • Australian not-for-profit organisations (e.g. teaching institutions) – $132.00
  • Non-levy payers – $440.00
  • Outside of Australia – $440.00

Discounts on bulk requests (more than ten isolates) are available on request. All strains are provided as live cultures on agar slopes. Information on the propagation of yeast and bacterial strains from an agar slope to a starter culture is available.

Strain deposits

  • Open deposit – no charge
  • Safe deposit – $220

Strain identification
Requested strains are provided as is (see terms and conditions ). However, yeast and bacterial strains can be identified prior to shipping for an additional fee:

  • ITS PCR, sequencing and database search – $132 per strain (yeast – species)
  • 16S PCR, sequencing and database search – $132 per strain (bacteria – genus)

Useful links