GEOMAR harbours one of the largest collections of marine microorganisms (bacteria, fungi). This collection is the GEOMAR Biobank. The organisms are kept at low temperature (-80°C / -100°C / -196°C) to maintain their viability. Many of these microorganisms are identified but biochemically characterized provisionally only. As the ecological conditions of the oceans are strongly variable (according to oxygen, pressure, light, temperature, chemical environment etc.), the organisms adapted to the conditions with an enormous flexibility of their biochemical repertoire and implemented biochemical pathways.
Marine microorganisms are highly intersting to research as well as to industry with some microorganisms already in development/use for commercial applications. Marine microorganisms produce innovative compounds which are used as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, cosmetic and wellness products and antifoulings.
Cooperations and exchanges in exploring and sustainable exploitation of marine microbial diversity and the biochemical capabilities of marine microorganisms are welcome.
GEOMAR Biobank uses fractions of KiWiZ (The Kiel Center for Marine Natural Products) microbial resources and background.
Since 2005 there has been a large amount of publications by scientists of KiWiZ connected to basic research as well as to application related aspects of marine microorganisms.
Furthermore a number of patents concerning antitumoral, antibacterial, insecticidal, antiproliferative and antiphytopathogenic substances have been registered since 2005.
GEOMAR Biobank now utilizes this background offering its experience to participate in ecological research as well as in applied science employing marine microorganisms.
GEOMAR-Biotech(established 2015) is the successor of KiWiZ. As part of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany), GEOMAR-Biotech (GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology) is a unique, state-of-the-art centre dedicated to outstanding research in marine biotechnology and biodiscovery and the transfer of research results to application