India is rich in its biodiversity and in this regard, commendable work has been done in indexing flora (by Botanical Survey of India; including fungi) and fauna (by Zoological Survey of India). However, there has been an abysmal effort in indexing and recording culturable diversity (“assets”) and yet to be cultured diversity (“liabilities”) of microorganisms. It is predicted that our bacterial liability is to a tune of about 99.9% while our assets form the remaining part, of which, we have valid descriptions for very few. There is an immediate need for a systematic survey to catalogue our microbiological wealth. Though, we continue to publish articles on the microbial diversity from diversified niches, this is at random and needs systematic studies and cataloguing. In addition to microbial diversity, India significantly contributes to the advance research in the areas of genomics, metagenomics etc. concerning niche-specific microbiota. However, an integrated informatics platform disseminating an entire gamut of information such as taxonomic, genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, phenotypes, of ecosystems and relation to human wellbeing on microbiomes of Indian has not yet been created and made available. In this respect, DBT-CMI has been initiated to develop Informatics infrastructure both in terms of hardware and software for seamless accessing, storing and retrieval of information pertaining to microbial wealth of India.
Objectives of the centre:
- To create a stable and sustainable bioinformatics platform for storing, accessing and analysing microbiological information found in diverse habitats (Indian environments such as soil, rhizosphere, lakes, river beds, marine, industrial effluent sites, etc across India; human gut microbiota) with a driving motto “Serve the nation through microbiological information”.
- To provide training for manpower development and skill development