Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Christchurch: rebuilding microbial collections as well as buildings

Download PDFDownload PDF


20 Apr 2011

Microbial cultures used in the development of natural insecticides were damaged in the Christchurch earthquake but will soon be available again thanks to Australia’s National Measurement Institute (NMI).

NMI is working with Greentide Ltd to help rebuild important microbial culture collections damaged in the devastating earthquake.

Labs outside Christchurch where Greentide conducts some of its research, and the important collection of fungi and other microbes indigenous to New Zealand were badly damaged. Some of the fungi are not known to be stored anywhere else in the world. Abandoned when the quake struck, many of the cultures could not be recovered when researchers returned two weeks later.

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said NMI was helping Greentide rebuild cultures of the micro-organisms that it had lost.

“NMI is an international depository authority for the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure. So it had samples of the New Zealand micro-organisms in its collection in Port Melbourne.

“As one of a few depositories in the Asia Pacific region, NMI receives and stores micro-organisms for up to 30 years,” Senator Carr said.

“Luckily, Greentide had deposited samples of the cultures that were damaged in Christchurch with NMI. We hope that research into New Zealand’s indigenous fungi - and the pesticide - can continue with these ‘rebuilt’ collections.

“The company can be proud of its decision to lodge those samples. It’s a decision that will help New Zealand farmers produce healthier crops for consumers quickly and efficiently.”

NMI is Australia's peak measurement body responsible for biological, chemical, legal, physical and trade measurement. From laboratories around Australia, it issues more than 15,000 test and measurement reports annually to more than 5,000 clients, in industries as diverse as food safety, environmental monitoring, instrument manufacture and calibration, and nanotechnology.

For more information visit: