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].