Introduction

The most effective way to preserve microbiological resources is their maintaining in modern microbial collections that have the conditions for guaranteed maintaining and long-term deposit of the organisms isolated under the natural conditions. The culture collections are the centers for the study of biological objects' systematics, the development of the methods to identify cultures and to keep them for a long time. They are also banks of information on the history of the available strains, their properties, as well as a safe depository for cultures [di Gastri, Younes, 1990, Grassle et al., 1991, Hawksworth, Colwell, 1992, Ivshina, 1993, Green, Bousfield, 1993, Kirsop, Kalakoutskii, 1993].
At present, culture collections of microorganisms of different kind exist in many countries of the world. They constitute the world collection stock and are united in various international communities, such as the European Culture Collections' Organization (ECCO) and the World Federation of Culture Collections (WFCC). There are three main types of microbial collections: maintenance, special and individual ones. The objective of maintenance collections is to preserve the diversity of systematic groups of microorganisms described to date, which are generally represented in them by a small number of strains. Special and individual collections are characterized by the presence of a large number of strains of the few species of special interest [Fateeva, 1983]. Cultures maintained in collections serve as a resource for prompt application of scientific advances in developing new technologies and producing new preparations. Incorporation of Russian culture collections into the Microbial Strain Data Network (MSDN) will significantly extend the range of application of microorganisms in science and in practice and make the necessary information more readily accessible [Kalakoutskii et al, 1993, 1996].





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