GENETIKA (State Research Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms)

Federal State Unitary Enterprise, Government Research Center of Russian Federation, State Research and Development Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms (“Genetika”) is a leading development center of Russian Federation in the field of biotechnologies and one of the acknowledged leader in fundamental research of genetics and genetic engineering of industrial microorganisms.

In accordance with worlds progress trends and actual Russia’s requirements, “Genetika” creates new biotechnological processes of realization bioactive substances as may be necessary for agriculture, medicine, veterinary, pharmacy, chemical, food and consumer industry, ecology and other spheres of human activity.

On the basis of microorganisms, in the Institute there were developed bioprocesses of realization amino acids, enzymes, nucleotides and nucleoside, vitamins, antibiotics, recombinant proteins of human and animals, biocatalyst for chemical industry, biological plant protection products and other environmental protection technologies.                                            

“Genetika” is a unique research center that knows no equals in the world’s practice, specializing in deep fundamental studies (in the area of genetics of pro- and eukaryotic organisms, bioengineering, immunology, biocatalysis, bioinformatics) with industrial-based biotechnologies. This combination of fundamental research and application development is an operational principle of the Institute, a key to creative success and competitiveness on the world’s market. Over the 40 years history of fundamental research, the Institute has built up in our country a scientific school of genetics and molecular biology of bacteria and bacteriophages. “Genetika” is among the first in Russia who began to develop and use genetic engineering methodology for making industrial microbial strains. In 1974, in the Institute and firstly in USSR, recombinant plasmid DNA has been invented. Original vector systems and effective system of expression have been made. A collection of microorganisms-enzyme producers for genetic engineering has been created (The USSR Council of Ministers award for science and enginery in 1981).

“Genetika” has all objective preconditions to keep the leading positions in the sphere of industrial biotechnologies. One of the most important aspects of work of the Institute in the coming years will be:

development of new technologies of realization the monomer molecules for polymer chemistry with the help of fermentation of sugar-containing raw materials and bio-conversion of carbon hydride (biocatalysis). Various kinds of monomers such as acrylic monomers, substituted amides and itaconic acid produced by means of biotechnologies will let to have a wide array of polymers, total consumption of which exceeds several mln tons per year at present time; development of realization of organic acids technologies with the help of fermentation of renewable feedstocks. Realization of design processes at domestic chemistry complex enterprises will let to produce brand new materials, eco-friendly, degradable in surrounding environment and therefore will provide a competitive edge of new products in the domestic and world’s markets. As an example, the technology of realization L-lactic acid: the process is developed by means of immobilized cells together with academic department of enzymology of MSU. Licensed Agreement with Guangxi pharmaceutical company, PRC; development of the most advanced biofuel – biobutanol; process improvement where the usage of microbal enzymes allows to raise effectiveness, safety and economic factors. In particular, the work on xylanase production will be carried on. This is an enzyme that serves to chlorine free cellulase bleaching (tests were held on Kotlas self-contained paper mill); lipase – an enzyme that serves to interesterification of vegetable fats, meat scraps and others.

Russia, having a substantial raw materials source, advanced chemical industry and strong potential in biotechnologies, shall take its advantages to occupy a rightful place in the sphere of chemical goods production made by means of biotechnologies.

Pursuant to progress trends of world science, the Institute has not stand still with bioprocesses creation based on microorganisms only, the Institute added molecular medical research in its field of work, focused on new-generation drugs producing;  examination of molecular and cellular processes controlling the host defense; human genome research, genetic disposition analysis to socially significant diseases etc.

The institute’s projects are funded with the money coming from government contracts, national and international grants, partnership agreements with Russian and international partners.

“Genetika” fundamental studies are financed by grants of Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). During the last few years, the Institute specialists work on 15-25 grants annually.

Since 2004 “Genetika” participates in open competitive tenders for Federal Science and Innovation Agency to critical technologies and priority areas of science and technology within the Federal Target Scientific-and-technological Programs (Federal Research and Technology Target Program and Federal Special Purpose Program). In 2007 within the Federal Special Purpose Program “Research and studies for priority areas of scientific-and-technological complex development of Russia 2007-2012”, the Institute competitively won the financing of 9 projects as well as nanofibers production on the basis of dragline of spider web’s protein, creation of Lux-biosensors for testing purposes of toxic compounds and the most important – the Institute was awarded to develop the Fundamental innovative project of national standing – “Production of recombinant proteins for medical use based on animal cell culture and microorganisms by applying high-capacity technological platforms”.

As a leading national biological center, “Genetika” makes significant efforts for consolidation of biotechnological studies in Russia. “Genetika” works together with training centers and scientific organizations, publishes a country’s only special scientific journal “Biotechnology”. Important features of infrastructure of biotechnological studies in Russia are the following sections of the Institute: Russian National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms (RNCIM) and Common use center “Identification and Assessment of Biotechnological Potential of Microorganisms” (CUC). RNCIM and CUC are significant units in the system of national biosafety precautions: exercise the export control over nonpathogenic microorganisms, take part in regulatory structure creation of safe use of national and foreign microbial strains used in applied and research purposes on the Russia’s territory.

“Genetika” has a great scientific potential. One way to keep the potential is to train new scientific personnel. “Genetika” is a significant training center. Institute’s scientists lecture at the major universities in the country. Every year students of the relevant universities execute dozens of term papers and protected degree works; there are doctoral schools, academic council for passing MPhil and Ph.D. defenses in “genetics” and “molecular biology” disciplines in the Institute. Specialists qualified in “Genetika” successfully work as for our Institute and for other scientific-and-research centers in Russia and abroad.