WARF: P03154US

  • Assigned to WARF as biological material.

Bacterial Culture Collection from an Extreme Environment in Alaska


Jo Handelsman, Patrick Schloss

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in a culture collection of over 1,000 bacterial isolates from non-permafrost soils in an extremely cold and phosphorus-poor environment.
OVERVIEWMicroorganisms adapted to grow in exceptionally harsh environments, such as hot springs and arctic soils, are a potentially vast source of novel metabolic processes, antibiotics, enzymes and other proteins. Due to the difficulties involved in culturing these microbes – which by definition possess highly unusual growth requirements – this resource today remains largely untapped.
THE INVENTIONA team of UW-Madison researchers has now created a culture collection of over 1,000 bacterial isolates from non-permafrost soil in the floodplain of the Tanana River -- an extremely cold and mineral poor environment near Fairbanks, Alaska. To obtain the largest and most diverse collection of microbes possible, the researchers employed a range of media concentrations, added soil extract to the enrichment media, and performed extended incubations at low temperatures. Preliminary screening has identified at least 5 unique isolates with good antibiotic activity. The culture collection is arrayed in 96-well culture plates with 20 percent DMSO for preservation. 
  • Provides a potentially valuable source of new genes, antibiotics, metabolic processes and cold-adapted enzymes for food processing, medical and industrial applications
  • Culture conditions were optimized to obtain the most diverse collection of hard-to-isolate bacteria possible.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.