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For more information on the IS MIRRI 21 project and its research topics, the Project Coordinator invites you to check our website at the link


First European Research Infrastructure Consortium hosted by Portugal: MIRRI inaugurates its new headquarters at the University of Minho

The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (MIRRI-ERIC), the pan-European Research Infrastructure for the preservation, study, provision and valorization of microbial resources and biodiversity, inaugurated its new headquarters premises, located at the Campus of Gualtar of the University of Minho, in Braga, Portugal on 14 December 2022.
The inauguration of the headquarters followed up the
Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/1204, of 16 June 2022, setting up MIRRI-ERIC. The event started with the MIRRI meeting opened by IS MIRRI21 Project Coordinator and MIRRI-PT Coordinator, Prof. Doctor Nelson Lima.
The inauguration ceremony brought to the University of Minho Elvira Fortunato, Portugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Madalena Alves, President of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), and the Mayor of Braga,
Ricardo Rio as well as the Rector of the University of Minho, Rui Vieira de Castro and over 70 representatives of the partners and governing bodies of MIRRI-ERIC and MIRRI-PT.
As a distributed Research Infrastructure, MIRRI brings together about 50 microbial domain Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs), culture collections, and research institutes from 10 European countries. Portugal and Spain jointly co-host MIRRI-ERIC, with the former hosting the statutory seat. The other founding Members are Belgium, France, and Latvia.
See posts on the inauguration ceremony on our social media
here, here, and here.
Read the
Press release on the website University of Latvia (in Latvian) from the project partner University of Latvia Microbial Strain Collection of Latvia – (MSCL/UL)


Launch of the Second 2nd Transnational Access Call

The TNA programme aims at financially and logistically support the access (on-site and remotely) of external users to the IS_MIRRI21 partners’ research facilities across Europe to carry out their research projects. After a successful 1st TNA call, IS_MIRRI21 launched the 2nd TNA call on February 1st, 2022, and extended the deadline for submission of proposals until May 31st, 2022. The project partners are delighted to announce that seven researchers from four different countries – Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Chile – have been awarded in the 2nd TNA Call.

The awardees of the 2nd TNA Call:

• Ana Igual Wöllstein (Spain); Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi strains produced in vitro; Access at BCCM-MU
• Carina Menezes (Portugal); From the isolation of cyanobacteria, over their cultivation and preservation, to their characterization; Access at BCCM-ULC
• Chiara Lauritano (Italy); In vitro screening and testing of Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC); Access at UL-MSCL
• Giovanni Andrea Vitale (Italy); Archaea, bacteria, yeast, and filamentous fungi from the UVEG-CECT public catalogue; Access at UVEG-CECT
• Joana Domingues (Portugal); Identification of fungi in pure culture; Access at KNAW-WI
• Marina Carrasco-Acosta (Spain); Identification of fungi in pure culture; Access at MUT-UNITO
• Victor Manuel Ignacio Gallardo Muniz (Chile); Food Mycology; Access at MUM-UMinho Read more on the TNA calls and success stories at our website

Read more on the TNA calls and success stories at our website



15th International Conference on Culture Collections and IS MIRRI21 Final General Assembly

From 12 to 16 June 2023, the 15th International Conference on Culture Collections took place in Braga at Universidade do Minho, and for the first time organized by Portugal.
IS MIRRI21 project coordinator, Prof. Nelson Lima is a President of the Local Organised Committee,
This year, the motto of the conference was
“Exploiting Microbial Resources to Support Social Wellbeing”.
The event was organized by The Micoteca da Universidade do Minho (MUM), in collaboration with the Chilean Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO), the IS_MIRRI21 EU project, MIRRI-ERIC, the Portuguese microBiological Resource Centre Network / MIRRI-PT Node (Pt-mBRCN), the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM) and the Portuguese Society of Biotechnology (SPBT).
The ICCC is a regular conference organized by the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) which represents 832 Culture Collections from 78 Countries and Regions, and collectively preserved more than 3.3 million microorganisms available for different user communities
MUM over the years has been involved in the Executive Board (EB) of WFCC making significant contributions to the progress of the state-of-the-art long-term management of microbial preservation. Currently, the MUM Quality Manager is a member of the EB.

Access the full program of the conference at the ICCC15 website andvia the link.

In the framework of the ICCC conference, the IS MIRRI21 Final General Assembly took place and was held both online and offline. Project partners presented the project results and discussed key outcomes and challenges.


Symposium on the first Transnational Access (TNA) Pilot Program

The Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) hosted the symposia to evaluate the IS_MIRRI21 TNA Program and to promote networking among the awardees and the different stakeholders. The event took place on January 23rd, 2023. Both TNA calls of the pilot program were successfully concluded with the provision of access to 11 researchers. The meeting agenda addressed scientific, administrative, and legal aspects of the IS_MIRRI21 TNA program. Moreover, the experiences of participants in the Business Mentorship (BBMS) Program were shared. The participation of two Access officers from other EU-RIs (EMBRC and IBISBA) and representatives from the policy world allowed an exchange on the challenges and experiences faced during the implementation of TNA programs in Europe.
During the round table discussion, participants provided insights and suggestions for further improvement in the access provision. The users were highly satisfied with the TNA, the excellence of the accessed facilities, and the support received from the local staff.


Microbial biobanks in Italy launch a €17M project to strengthen their activities in line with the country’s participation in MIRRI-ERIC


On 14 November 2022, the project “Strengthening the MIRRI Italian Research Infrastructure for Sustainable Bioscience and Bioeconomy” (SUS-MIRRI.IT) was launched. The kick-off Meeting of took place in Torino, Italy. The event gathered more than one hundred attendees, among which Rectors and representatives of all 14 institutions belonging to the project, Representatives of the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), representatives of the national agrofood (CLAN) and green chemistry (SPRING) technological clusters, researchers and administrative staff of all 24 operational units. The project SUS-MIRRI.IT, funded by Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan – PNRR, is granted by the European Commission’s NextGenerationEU programme with a total budget of about €17M.
It is coordinated by the IS MIRRI 21 project partner University of Torino (UNITO) and involves 14 other institutions: CNR, ENEA, OGS, the Universities of Cagliari, Genoa, Milano Bicocca, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Naples Federico II, Palermo, Perugia, Parma, Sassari, Verona and the University of Basilicata.

The general objective of SUS-MIRRI.IT is to implement the network of microbial biobanks distributed throughout Italy to increase the benefit that society can derive from the knowledge and valorisation of microbial biodiversity, which is a critical asset to face several of the greatest social, economic and environmental challenges that characterize our time.
The specific goals of the project are:
• the implementation of infrastructures and quality management of microbial biobanks and related metadata; the development of services and training courses for Academia and Bioindustry;
• the creation of a national platform to promote the national catalogue of microorganisms and their metadata; and iv) provide access to available state-of-the-art technologies and services, making the infrastructure easily accessible to different types of users.

The project will be developed along 30 months, in close articulation with the work program of MIRRI-ERIC. Keep updated with the project by visiting the website and following the social media of SUS-MIRRI.IT


MIRRI participation at #ALL-READY WORKSHOP: Accelerating Agroecology Transition: Your potential role and benefits of contributing to a European network of Living Labs and Research Infrastructures

ALL-Ready Regional Workshop took place in Sevilla on the 2nd of November, 2022 IS MIRRI21 partners Universitat de València Estudi General (UVEG-CECT) on behalf of MIRRI participated in the event.
ALL-Ready is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded by the European Commission with the aim of preparing a framework for a future European Network of Living Labs and Research Infrastructures that will enable the transition towards agroecology throughout Europe.
The main goal is to map the work of agroecology initiatives (including living labs and research infrastructures) that support the transition towards agroecology across Europe. The workshop held within the aim to explain to the participants the aims and outcomes of the ALL-Ready project including the pilot network, as well as the future network and partnership in which LLs and RIs are planned to play a central role; as well to discuss possible activities that could be accelerated in a network of living labs and research infrastructures.

As a result of the event, the insights on common understandings, focuses, problems and difficulties that initiatives are facing in the transition process arised as well as possible solutions to overcome these obstacles, and also how a future European network could contribute to that.

Read more on the event details, its aim, and agenda at the ALL-Ready website here and here


MIRRI´s participation at ECCO XL New Horizons in Accessing Microbial Diversity

ECCO XL Conference was held from 27 – 29 September, 2022 in Braunschweig, Germany. IS MIRRI 21 partner Universitat de València Estudi General (UVEG-CECT) joined the event.

This year´s motto of the conference was “New Horizons in Accessing Microbial Diversity”). The discussions were centred around the topics of “The role of Culture Collections in Understanding and Mitigating Global Challenges” as well as “The Future of Digital Collections”.

Access scientific program at the event webpage Get to know more about EUROPEAN CULTURE COLLECTIONS’ ORGANISATION (ECCO) here


XV Congreso Nacional de Micología 2022 Valencia y 7ª Ed. EFI – La Colección Española de Cultivos Tipo, un Centro de Recursos Microbianos (mBRC) al servicio de la Microbiología

XV Congreso Nacional de Micología (XV National Congress of Mycology), which happens every two years, gathers researchers from Spain and beyond. Its aim is to support experts in mycology in their work, and promoting the best of national mycology research. In 2022, the event took place in Valencia on 7 to 9 September. MIRRI was represented by project partners from Universitat de València Estudi General (UVEG-CECT)


Discover the program of the congress at the event website here


MIRRI was provided with a workshop on ISO 20387:2018 “Biotechnology – Biobanking – General requirements for biobanking

A workshop aimed to present and explain the new ISO 20387:2018 standard for biobanks was organized. This interactive workshop was arranged back-to back with the workshops on access and benefit-Sharing and biorisk assessment and implementation of Biorisk management at MIRRI microbial BRCs. Experts who have contributed to the development of ISO 20387 within the ISO/TC 276 have explained main implications of the standard for microbial BRCs.
The workshop was organized by Service Public Fédéral de Programmation Politique Scientifique (BELSPO), with the help of Belgian Coordinated Collections of Micro-organisms (BCCM/MUCL) and took place at Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium on June 23, 2022. It was attended by 45 participants, among which were managers, quality responsibles of mBRCs and other profiles from within and outside MIRRI partnership


VIII Congreso Nacional de Microbiología Industrial y Biotecnología Microbiana (CMIBM)

This Congress is organized by the Sociedad Española de Microbiología (SEM) (Spanish Society of Microbiology). The event was attended by the project partners from Universitat de València Estudi General (UVEG-CECT). The event was held at the installations of the Fundación Universidad-Empresa de Valencia from 1 to 3 June 2022. It was a fantastic opportunity for the exchange of ideas between researchers in the field of microorganism applications. It counts with the latest innovations in pharmaceutical, food, ecological, agricultural and industrial microbiology.
Access the program and other events of the event at the Congress website


MIRRI participation at RedBAL – Red Española de Bacterias Lácticas symposium

RedBAL – Red Española de Bacterias Lácticas (The Spanish Network of Lactic Bacteria) organized a yearly symposium in which members from institutions all over Spain are invited to participate.
The symposium took place in the University of Valencia (UV) on 26 and 27 May, 2022. Participants from IS MIRRI 21 partner Universitat de València Estudi General (UVEG-CECT) were present at the event among 112 attendees. During the 15th edition of the symposium 24 oral communications and 25 posters were involved.
Read more on the event at the RedBAL website.


Genomic analysis and in vitro investigation of the hop resistance phenotype of two novel Loigolactobacillus backii strains, isolated from spoiled beer
Despoina Eugenia Kiousi, Joanna Bucka-Kolendo, Adrian Wojtczak, Barbara Sokołowska, Agapi I. Doulgeraki and Alex Galanis Microorganisms 2023, 11, 280.

Loigolactobacillus backii is an important beer-spoiling species, exhibiting high hop tolerance. Here, we present the annotated whole genome sequence of two recently isolated strains, Lg. backii KKP 3565 and KKP 3566. Firstly, to study the genetic basis of the persistence of the two isolates in beer, a comprehensive bioinformatic analysis ensued. Their chromosome map was constructed, using whole-genome sequencing and assembly, revealing that the two strains carry genomes with a length of 2.79 Mb with a GC content of 40.68%. An average nucleotide identity (ANI) analysis demonstrated that the novel strains possess unique genomic sequences, also confirming their classification into the Lg. backii species. Their genome harbors numerous insertion sequences and plasmids, originating from other beer-spoiling species. Regarding their adaptation in brewery environment, homologous genes that confer resistance to hop were spotted, while the impact of hop bitters and pure beer on bacterial growth was investigated, in vitro. In brief, low hop concentrations were found to induce the proliferation of strains, while a higher concentration negatively affected their growth. Nonetheless, their ability to survive in pure beer indicated their tolerance to high hop concentrations. These results offer insight into the capacity of Lg. backii KKP 3566 and Lg. backii KKP 3566 to tolerate the extreme conditions prevalent in the brewery environment

Whole genome sequence maps of Lg. backii KKP 3565 and KKP 3566 constructed with CGView.


Valorization of wheat bread waste and cheese whey through cultivation of lactic acid bacteria for bio-preservation of bakery products
Iosca, G., Turetta, M., De Vero, L., Bang-Berthelsen, C. H., Gullo, M., & Pulvirenti, A. LWT – Food Science and Technology 176 (2023) 114524

In this work, three lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains, specifically, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum UMCC 2996, Furfurilactobacillus rossiae UMCC 3002, and Pediococcus pentosaceus UMCC 3010, were tested in new bread-whey media composed by wheat bread and sweet cheese whey, designed as an alternative to the conventional MRS medium. The medium resulting from hydrolysis with amylase and neutrase (AN) was considered the best for the growth of all the strains. This medium was particularly optimal for the strain F. rossiae UMCC 3002, which showed an increase in growth of 114% compared to that in MRS medium. Additionally, the bio-preservative ability of the selected LAB was assessed in pectin-based coated sliced bread inoculated with Aspergillus flavus ITEM 7828, Penicillium paneum ITEM 1381, and Aspergillus niger ITEM 7090. Different LAB strain behavior was observed towards the specific molds. A good bio-preservation activity was shown from F. rossiae UMCC 3002 against A. flavus ITEM 7828 with results compared to the protection by ethanol treatment. The results obtained in this study suggest a novel strategy for the cultivation of selected starters with a bio-protection activity by valorizing bread waste and cheese whey by-products, in a circular economy perspective

Anti-mold activity against the simulation of microbial contamination of sliced bread with mycelium fungi of Penicilium paneum ITEM 1381 at the 9 d of storage (BC: bread control; EBC: ethanol bread control). The gold pin indicates the area where the mold was inoculated.


Epiphytic and endophytic fungi colonizing seeds of two Poaceae weed species and Fusarium spp. seed degradation potential in vitro
Ņečajeva J., Borodušķe A., Nikolajeva V., Seņkovs M., Kalniņa I., Roga A., Skinderskis E., Fridmanis, D. Microorganisms 11 (2023) 184.

Fungi colonizing the surface and endosphere of two widespread Poaceae weed species, Avena fatua and Echinochloa crus-galli, were isolated to compare the taxonomic composition between the plant species, location, and year of the seed collection. The seed-degrading potential of Fusarium isolated from the seeds was tested by inoculating seeds of E. crus-galli with spore suspension. Molecular identification of epiphytic and endophytic fungal genera was performed by sequencing the ITS region of rDNA. Endophytes comprised of significantly lower fungal richness compared to epiphytes. A significant taxonomic overlap was observed between the endosphere and seed surface. The most abundant genera were Alternaria, Fusarium, Cladosporium, and Sarocladium. Analysis of similarities and hierarchical clustering showed that microbial communities were more dissimilar between the two plant species than between the years. Fusarium isolates with a high potential to infect and degrade E. crus-galli seeds in laboratory conditions belong to F. sporotrichioides and F. culmorum

Hierarchical cluster diagram and heatmap based on Jaccard distances between fungal communities isolated from A. fatua (AVEFA) and E. crus-galli (ECHCG) seed samples collected in 2020 and 2021 in different locations (indicated by letters).


Does peptide-nucleic acid (PNA) clamping of host plant DNA benefit ITS1 amplicon-based characterization of the fungal endophyte community?
Borodušķe A., Ķibilds J., Fridmanis D., Gudrā D., Ustinova M., Seņkovs M., Nikolajeva V. Fungal Ecology 61 (2023) 101181

Effect of PNA clamping on class-level taxonomic affiliation of fungal endophyte community by ITS1 amplicon based next-generation sequencing. Bars represent proportion of reads affiliated with different fungal classes. ITS amplicons analyzed were generated by the Illumina ITS primer set on total DNA isolated from S. nigra ripe fruits (n = 5) or roots (n = 5) either with or without addition of S. nigra ITS blocking PNA clamp.

Fungal endophyte community amplicon sequencing can lose a significant number of informative reads due to host-plant co-amplification. Blocking of plant-specific sequences with peptide nucleic acid (PNA) clamps has been shown to improve metrics of detected microbial diversity in studies targeting 16S and 18S regions of rRNA genes. However, PNA clamping has not been applied to the plant ITS region of rRNA gene – a widely accepted fungal marker. By applying PNA clamping technique to ITS amplicon sequencing of the endophytic fungal community of elderberry this study shows that PNA clamping significantly reduces host-plant co-amplification with the universal ITS1/ITS4 primer set. However, PNA clamping in combination with the discriminatory ITS1F/ ITS2 primer set did not improve the metrics of fungal endophyte community ITS amplicon Illumina sequencing. This study shows that PNA clamping does not add practical benefit to taxonomic profiling of plant-associated fungal communities if the primers are already specific enough to exclude amplification of host DNA.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under the Grant Agreement nº 871129. This document reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


Implementation and Sustainability of Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure for the 21st Century

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