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MaCuMBA Progresses towards Uncovering the Hidden Potential of Marine Microorganisms

The MaCuMBA project continues to uncover the untold diversity of marine microbes using cultivation-dependent strategies.

The MaCuMBA (Marine Microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for Improving their Biotechnological Applications) project’s second General Assembly was held in Cadiz, Spain from the 22-26 September. MaCuMBA is a four-year EC Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)-funded project that aims to uncover the untold diversity of marine microbes using cultivation-dependent strategies. Representatives of the project’s 24 partner organisations attended the assembly at the University of Cadiz. The meeting involved two days of scientific presentations, which summarised the innovative research that is being done in the MaCuMBA project, followed by a two-day sampling workshop. Prof Lucas Stal (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)), MaCuMBA project coordinator, said: “These annual General Assembly meetings are a valuable opportunity for the MaCuMBA partners to come together to evaluate the progress we have made so far and plan for the next year of the project. The MaCuMBA consortium continues to make excellent progress towards achieving the aims of the project. So far we have isolated several thousands of microorganisms from a large variety of marine samples, and the development and testing of new equipment to help with the isolation, screening and culture of marine microorganisms is also underway.” Examples of the outputs beginning to emerge from the project include a “survival box” for collection of cyanobacteria, micro Petri dishes for in-situ isolation of marine microbes, and a laser-tweezers setup that can be used to isolate single microbes. During the meeting, it was decided that the next MaCuMBA General Assembly will be held in Iceland, from 21-25 September 2015. The second industry stakeholder meeting to be held in collaboration with MaCuMBA’s Oceans of Tomorrow sister projects was also discussed. This event will be organised by MicroB3 ( and will take place on 30-31 March 2015 in Madrid, Spain. At this event, MaCuMBA will organise a session on marine microorganisms and will invite both industry and academic partners to present their research. For more information about MaCuMBA, please visit: Notes for Editors MaCuMBA is led by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and is a joint venture of 24 partner institutions from 11 EU countries with the common aim to uncover the untold diversity of marine microbes using cultivation-dependent strategies. MaCuMBA aims to improve the isolation rate and growth efficiency of marine microorganisms from conventional and extreme habitats by applying innovative methods and using automated high-throughput procedures. AquaTT is the communication and dissemination partner for the project. For more information and press queries, contact Marieke Reuver, AquaTT Programme Manager, email: Detailed partner profiles are available on request.


Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Iceland, Netherlands, United Kingdom

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