Dec. 9, 2011 Ever since its complete genome was sequenced the moss Physcomitrella patens has increasingly moved to the fore as a model organism for scientific research groups all over the world.
Last year Freiburg Biologist Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski set up the International Moss Stock Center (IMSC) at the University of Freiburg, Germany, as a central storage location.
Mosses are deep-frozen, stored and managed centrally at the IMSC biobank. A system of registry numbers guarantees a reliable identification of the separate samples. The IMSC is financed by Reski's Chair Plant Biotechnology and the Excellence Cluster BIOSS. The fact that the deep-frozen moss samples can be brought back to life even after decades of cryopreservation is not least due to the research being carried out in Reski's Department. The procedure was developed as part of a cooperation with industrial partner BASF over 10 years ago and has been continuously improved ever since.
In order to ease the exchange of material and information for basic research the IMSC biobank is freely available for scientists. But this professional service is also available to companies. In this case the submitted samples are treated confidentially.
The biotechnology company Greenovation Biotech GmbH in Heilbronn, Germany, showed an interest in this service and has signed a contract with the IMSC. Greenovation produces biopharmaceuticals, e.g. human antibodies, in moss bioreactors. With the signing of this contract the company can now store economically significant production lines as so-called Master Cell Banks (MCBs) in the Freiburg cryobank. "This contract is proof of the high standards we have established at the IMSC. There is hardly anything more valuable than MCBs for the commercial production of proteins," says Reski.
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