National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms (NCIM)

About NCIM



At the suggestions of Dr. S.S. Bhatnagar, Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research India, "The National Collection of Type Cultures" (NCTC) was started in 1941 at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, under the direction of Prof. M. Sreenivasaya.

In 1951, the culture collection was transferred to the then Biochemistry Division of the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, under the direction of Dr. M. Damodaran. In 1956, it was decided that the culture collection will maintain only organisms of value to research and industry and hence the name was changed from NCTC to National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms (NCIM). NCIM was designated as a Resource Centre of NCL in 2002. NCIM consists of around 3700 strains of algae, bacteria, fungi and yeast. Only nonpathogenic cultures are maintained in the collection. NCIM is one of the largest culture collections in India and is a member of World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC).


Salient Features

  • A unique nonprofit resource center dedicated to the isolation, collection, preservation and distribution of authentic cultures of industrially important microorganisms. 
  • A facility performing research to ensure authenticity of the materials in the culture collection and improving the methods of maintenance, preservation and distribution of these materials. 
  • A facility aiming at strengthening the science related to industrial microbiology and offering contract research services. 
  • A facility serving as the training center in the area of isolation and preservation of industrially important strains. 


  • Highly experienced personnels in the area of isolation and preservation of microbial strains
  • An in-house well equipped culture collection facility required for training in the area.
  • Expertise in the area of strain improvement needed for industries related to microbiology.
  • NCIM constantly acquires knowledge base in the area by constant research & development to suit the needs of the research institutes and industries.
  • Microbiological testing of samples


  • Preservation, and molecular characterization of the microbial strains by variety of methods including lyophilization and liquid nitrogen thereby maintaining the microbial bio-diversity found in the country.
  • Distribution of authentic cultures to research institutes and industries thereby promoting the research & development in the country.
  • NCIM acts as depository of patent strains in addition to the strains used for basic research indirectly helping to retain important microbial flora in the country.
  • NCIM has the expertise in the isolation of industrially important strains needed for development of microbial-based technologies. We undertake contract research in this area.
  • Consultancy services include sequencing services, antimicrobial susceptibiity testing, enzyme related projects etc.

Bench-Scale Technologies Developed

Bench scale technologies for following processes are developed:

  • Chemo enzymatic route for D(-)phenylglycine from DL-5-phenylhydantion
  • Prostaglandin intermediate preparation of 4(R)-hydroxy cyclopent-2-en1(S)-acetate
  • Thermostable galactosidase & phytase from fungus
  • Highly acidic lipase from Aspergillus niger
  • Lactic acid production using improved strain

General References

Taxonomy :

  • "Bergey's Mannual of Systematic Bacteriology". vol.1 (1984); vol. 2 (1986); vol. 3 and 4 (1989). Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, USA. 
  • "International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology" ASM Publication, Washington D.C. USA.
  • "Illustrated Genera of Imperfect Fungi" by H. L. Barnett, Burgess Publishing Company, Minneapolis, USA. Second Edition, 1965. 
  • "The Genus Aspergillus" by K.B. Raper and D. I. Fennell, Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 1965.
  • "Genera of Fungi sporulating in pure culture" by J.A. Von Arx Vaduz (Germany) J.Cramer, 1974.
  • "The Yeasts" (A Taxonomic study) by J. Lodder. North Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam, 1970.
  • "The Yeasts" by A.H.Rose and J.H.Harrison. Vol.1 (1987) and vol. 4 (1991). Academic Press, London, UK.

Assay Methods:

  • "Practical Methods for the Microbiological Assay of the vitamin B-complex and amino acids" by E.C.Barton - Wright,United Trade Press, London, 1961. 
  • "Analytical Microbiology" by F. Kavanagh, Academic Press,1963.
  • "Official, Standardised and recommended Methods of Analysis"by S.C.Jolly, Society for Analytical Chemistry, Cambidge,1963.
  • U.S.Pharmacopoeia, 1980.
  • British Pharmacopoeia, 1980; Addendum 1983.
  • "Assay Methods of Antibiotics" by D.C.Grove and W.A.Randall, Antibiotics Monographs No. 2, New York, Medical Encyclopidia, Inc., 1955.
  • "The Vitamins" by Paul Gyorgy, Vol.I, Acdemic Press, New York 1950.

Media and Maintenance:

  • "Methods in Microbiology" (Vol I-VIII) by T.R.Morris and D.W.Robinson, Academic Press, New York, 1969-1973.
  • "Maintenance of Microorganisms and Culture Cells" A Mannual of Laboratory Methods, by B.E. Kirsop and A. Doyle, Academic Press, New York, 1991.
  • "Handbook of Microbiological Media" by R.M.Atlas and ed. by L.C.Parks, C.R.C.Press, London. 1993.

Production and Miscellaneous:

  • "Industrial Microbiology" by A.H.Rose, Butterworths, London ,1961.
  • "Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology" by A.L.Demain and N.A.Solomon, American Society for Microbiology, Washington D.C. 1986.
  • "Enzyme Technology for Industrial Applications" by L.M.Savage, IBC Biomedical Library Series, Southborough, USA.1996.


We wish to acknowledge gifts of cultures from several culture collections, viz. Prairie Regional Laboratory, Saskatoon, Canada; National Collection of Yeast Cultures, Nutfield, Surrey, London; National Collection of Industrial and Marine Bacteria Ltd. Aberdeen, Scotland and various other culture collections, Collections marked with an asterisk in the list of abbreviation which have donated the cultures. Special mention should be made of National Collection of Industrial and Marine Bacteria Ltd. Aberdeen, Scotland, for giving us nearly 350 cultures of bacteria as a free gift. Many of the references have been drawn from the NCIB Catalogue and permission from the Director of Torry Research Station to quote from their catalogue is gratefully acknowledged. We are also indebted to individuals who have generously supplied cultures to this collection.