The MaCuMBA (Marine Microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for Improving their Biotechnological Applications) project held its third Steering Committee meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, from 13-14 February 2014. MaCuMBA is a four-year EC Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)-funded project that aims to uncover the untold diversity of marine microbes using cultivation-dependent strategies.
It was agreed at the meeting that microorganisms collected by MaCuMBA partners will be screened for useful biocompounds and will be used to test new cultivation methods and technologies. MaCuMBA partner Cyano Biotech will be using samples provided by other partners to test new robotic equipment it is developing. To help partners collect these samples, Cyano Biotech have developed a "survival box", which contains everything that is needed for collecting cyanobacteria.
Prof Lucas Stal, MaCuMBA project coordinator, said: "The survival box will be a very useful tool for the MaCuMBA partners. Partners going on expeditions to interesting locations will take the box with them to collect new samples. I hope to use it during expeditions to the Red Sea in May and to the tropical Atlantic Ocean on the research vessel Pelagia in September."
It was also decided at the meeting that all strains of microorganisms collected during MaCuMBA should be made available online as soon as possible. Algae and cyanobacteria collected during the project will be stored in the Roscoff Culture Collection (RCC) and all other organisms will be kept in the Leibniz-Institut Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH (German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ)).
During the meeting, the Steering Committee considered plans for the 2014 MaCuMBA General Assembly, which will be held in Cadiz, Spain, from 22-23 September. The committee also discussed the planned industry stakeholder meeting, which will take place in November 2014 in Madrid, Spain. This event will be jointly organised with the Micro B3 (www.microb3.eu) and PharmaSea (www.pharma-sea.eu) projects.
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For more information about MaCuMBA, visit: www.macumbaproject.eu.