Budapest Notification No. 150
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication of the Republic of Italy Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Collection of Industrial Yeasts DBVPG

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify him of the receipt, on November 19, 1996, of a written communication, dated November 19, 1996, from the Government of the Republic of Italy, relating to the Collection of Industrial Yeasts DBVPG, indicating that the said depositary institution is located on the territory of the Republic of Italy and including a declaration of assurances to the effect that the said institution complies and will continue to comply with the requirements concerning the acquisition of the status of international depositary authority as specified in Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, done at Budapest on April 28, 1977, and amended on September 26, 1980.

The Collection of Industrial Yeasts DBVPG will acquire the status of international depositary authority under the Budapest Treaty as from January 31, 1997, the date of publication of the said communication in the January 1997 issue of Industrial Property and Copyright/La Propriété industrielle et le Droit d'auteur.

December 20, 1996


Text of the Written Communication of the Government of the Republic of Italy, dated November 19, 1996, Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Collection of Industrial Yeasts DBVPG

[Original: French; English translation prepared by the International Bureau of WIPO]

COMMUNICATION

The Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva presents its compliments to the World Intellectual Property Organization and has the honor to transmit to it the request of the Collection of Industrial Yeasts, Plant Biology Institute of the University of Perugia (Faculty of Agriculture), to acquire the status of international depositary authority (IDA) under Articles 6 and 7 of the Budapest Treaty (April 28, 1977) on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.

The request, accompanied by the relevant documents, was forwarded to us by the Ministry of Industry - Patent and Trademark Office. That Ministry, which has carried out the verifications required by the applicable provisions, considers that the Collection concerned complies with and will continue to comply with the required functional criteria and the objective conditions of competence, that is to say impartiality and structural and professional capability laid down by the Budapest Treaty for the acquisition of the status of international depositary authority (IDA).


INFORMATION ON THE COLLECTION OF INDUSTRIAL YEASTS DBVPG

I. Characteristics of the Depositary Institution

A. General Information

1(a) The Collection of Industrial Yeasts DBVPG forms part of the Applied Microbiology Section of the Department of Plant Biology of the University of Perugia, Faculty of Agriculture, Borgo 20 Giugno, 74, 06122 Perugia, Italy.

1(b) The Collection DBVPG was created in 1935, but only acquired the status of a service collection in 1980.

1(c) The Collection DBVPG accepts deposits of yeast strains.

The National Research Council is planning in the short term the establishment of an Italian national collection of microbial strains within which the Collection DBVPG will act as the scientific, technical and organizational reference collection.

1(d) The Collection DBVPG uses the following languages: Italian, English, French and German.

B. Legal Status and Funding

2(a) The Department of Plant Biology of the University of Perugia is a public establishment, directly under the supervision of the Ministry for Universities and Scientific Research.

2(b) The management of the Department of Plant Biology is carried out by a Council comprising all members of the teaching staff and elected members of the technical staff.

2(c) The funding of the Department of Plant Biology is provided by:

- public and private research contributions
- revenue from applied research and consulting activities
- revenue from the specific service activities provided by DBVPG to the national and international scientific community.

C. Staff

3. The Department of Plant Biology employs 45 persons. The Applied Microbiology Section itself employs 10 persons.

4. Six persons hold university degrees.

5. The organigram of the Collection DBVPG is as follows:

- one responsible curator,
- one graduate, one part-time graduate,
- two part-time technicians.

Secretarial services are provided by the staff of the Department.

D. Facilities of the Depositary Institution

6(a) The Department of Plant Biology occupies a surface of 4,000 square meters of which about 2,500 square meters are devoted to research laboratories. The Applied Microbiology Section is located on the second floor, with 900 square meters of surface, of which the Collection DBVPG occupies 100 square meters.

6(b) The structures, main facilities and research support services are available in four laboratories specialized in applied microbiology, ecology/biodiversity, molecular biology, and taxonomy/collection, and in the preparation/sterilization room for culture media.

6(c) List of principal facilities available for the deposit of conserved yeast strains:

Preparation/Sterilization Room
two automatically controlled autoclaves, one chemical dome.

Conventional Taxonomy Laboratory/Collection
one laminar flow dome, one research microscope, one Macintosh computer, one apparatus for freeze-drying cultures, one refrigerator with freezer.

Biology Laboratory/Molecular Classification
one automatic spectrophotometer with thermostatic bath, three pulsed electrophoresis apparatus for separating yeast chromosomes; one capillary electrophoresis apparatus, full equipment for PCR, two refrigerators with freezer, one ultra-centrifuge, full equipment for automatic analysis of gels and microscopic images, equipment for specific hybridization of DNA (Southern Blot, Dot Blot, Chromo Blots).

Applied Microbiology Laboratory
five research fermenters, one gas chromotograph, one gel electrophoresis apparatus, one research spectrophotometer, one laminar flow dome, two fermenters of 100 and 500 liters, respectively, one centrifuge for separating microbial biomass.

6(d) The Applied Microbiology Section is also equipped, outside the laboratories, with two freezers, at -30°C and at -80°C , for freeze conservation, three incubators, at -20°, -25° and -37°C , respectively, a cabinet for the conservation of freeze-dried cultures and a refrigerated chamber at 4 to 5°C , for the conservation of gelose.

6(e) The Section also has three Macintosh computers with specific software for the cataloguing and researching of data relating to all conserved strains. Access to the database is strictly limited to authorized staff. A detailed description of the database is contained in the monograph entitled "Proposals for a National Collection of Microbial Cultures in Italy."

6(f) The full equipment for automatic analysis of gels and microscopic images comprises a Macintosh Quadra 950 computer, two telecameras, two transilluminators, two printers, of which one in color, and programs for image capture and analysis.

6(g) The chamber for conserving deposited samples for the purposes of a patent also includes a safe accessible only to the curator of the Collection DBVPG or to staff authorized by the curator on a case by case basis.

II. Activities of the Collection DBVPG

7(a) The activities of the Collection DBVPG may be summarized as follows:

(i) isolation, identification and cataloguing of cultures;

(ii) conservation, conventional and molecular classification for third parties;

(iii) conservation of strains by the following methods:

- in 10 x 160 mm glass tubes on malt gelose at 4°C
- lyophilization in glass ampoules at room temperature
- cryoconservation at -80°C;

(iv) distribution of conserved strains;

(v) publication of a catalogue of conserved cultures.

7(b) The database contains the particulars of each of the 4,000 strains that are conserved, in particular the taxonomic identification, origin, place and isolation substrate, isolator and classifier, special properties, industrial and technological applications, special genetic characteristics (between 40 and 55 fields for each strain).

7(c) The database has been established on Macintosh Quadra using FileMaker Pro and is currently being transferred to the Internet. The on-line interrogation service will be available next year. The forthcoming edition of the catalogue is under preparation.

7(d) The Collection DBVPG currently accepts deposits of yeast strains, pending the extension of its activities planned to occur on the setting up of the Italian national microbial culture collection.

7(e) The Collection DBVPG is currently able to conserve 4,000 strains of yeast, with an annual average distribution of approximately 100 strains and deposits of 100 to 150 new strains.

7(f) None of the deposits made so far concern patents.

7(g) The Collection DBVPG currently publishes a paper catalogue in which most of the information on the conserved strains is given. A catalogue on a magnetic support drawn up as part of the MINE (Microbial Information Network Europe) activities supported by the Commission of the European Community, is also available in the German database DIMDI in Cologne. The complete catalogue is currently being transferred to the Internet, with a page devoted to DBVPG. The on-line interrogation service will be available next year.

7(h) The Collection DBVPG undertakes to provide an information service for matters of customs, quarantine and postal regulations in Italy.

III. Procedures for the Deposit of Microorganisms

A. Acceptance of Cultures for Deposit

8. The Collection DBVPG requires, for acceptance as a deposit, compliance with the following conditions:

(i) Samples must be sent in test tubes in liquid or gel form or in freeze-dried ampoules in rigid-sided containers. In the event of consignment in a frozen or deep frozen form, containers of expanded polystyrene must be used containing a quantity of dry ice sufficient to guarantee 48 hours autonomy at room temperature.

(ii) The cells of the strains dispatched must be in pure culture and provide a high level of viability.

9(a) The depositor must supply:

A written declaration signed by the depositor and containing:

- a statement that the deposit has been made under the Budapest Treaty and an undertaking that it will not be withdrawn during the period provided in Rule 9.1 of the Regulations;

- the name and address of the depositor;

- a detailed description of the conditions that must be complied with for growing the deposited yeast culture, for conserving it and for verifying its viability;

- the dual appellation (genus and species), if it already exists and any identification code (number, symbol, acronym) allocated by the depositor;

- a statement of the properties of the strain that involve or may involve hazards for health or the environment or a statement that the depositor is not aware of any such properties. The depositor undertakes to inform the Collection DBVPG without delay should he acquire new information on the properties of the deposited strain that modify the statements previously made.

9(b) A scientific description and the origin of the strain deposited.

9(c) The form drawn up by the Collection DBVPG containing the information the depositor must provide when making his deposit.

B. Conservation

10(a) Methods of conservation and quality control for the deposited strains to guarantee viability and absence of contamination:

10(b) Contamination by bacteria, fungi or acarina can be identified by microscope inspection. In the presence of acarina, the dispatched culture is immediately sterilized.

10(c) The viability of strains is automatically tested since each culture received at DBVPG is immediately isolated on a gel medium to check whether a culture is dual or mixed. In the presence of colonies of differing macroscopic appearance and differing cell form, the depositor is informed.

10(d) The correctness of the taxonomic designation supplied by the depositor is checked at DBVPG by re-identification with conventional methods and by molecular taxonomy. In the cases of diverging identification, the depositor is informed of the difference.

10(e) Method of conservation on malt gelose: the strains are transferred on a fresh medium with an average frequency of two years and conserved under sterile mineral oil at 4°C.

10(f) Method of conservation in freeze-dried form: the cell powder is conserved at room temperature in at least 12 different ampoules for each strain. Viability checks are carried out every three to four years.

10(g) Method of conservation in deep-frozen form: a 24-hour cell suspension on malt gelose is deep-frozen at -80°C in the presence of 20 small pierced sterile beads. The container with the beads is conserved at -80°C and the culture may be recovered from a bead which is easily retrieved.

10(h) The Collection DBVPG cultivates strains according to three different methods: the three conservation lines are kept physically separate in different premises at a distance from the laboratory in order to minimize the danger of loss by fire or other hazard. Periodical controls of the -80°C alarm systems of the refrigerator and careful checks of the sterility of the culture media and viability of the conserved strains are foreseen.

C. Fees

11(a) The amount of the fee due on deposit under the Budapest Treaty (Rule 11.(4)(g)) is 1,000,000 lire for storage of a yeast strain.

Issue of a viability statement 100,000 lire
Cost of despatch for the furnishing of a sample 150,000 lire
Any notification to competent authorities or authorized persons concerning scientific data or the taxonomic description under Rules 6.1(b), 6.2(a)(iii), 7.6 and 8.1(b)(iii) 40,000 lire

11(b) The amount of the fees does not depend on the nationality or the domicile of the depositor, nor on the authority or the natural or legal person requesting issue of a viability statement or the furnishing of a sample.