MediaDive: Recipe database supports global biodiversity research

Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are the basis for life and survival on Earth. Despite this, it is estimated that only one percent of existing microorganisms have been identified and characterised to date. One of the reasons for this is that many microorganisms do not grow in the laboratory and thus cannot be studied. This is where the novel database MediaDive comes in. It offers the scientific community free access to currently over 3,270 cultivation media for more than 44,000 different prokaryotes, fungi, algae, and protozoa. The registered growth media are continuously curated by DSMZ researchers. MediaDive is thus setting worldwide standards for the documentation and development of cultivation media for the first time. For example, the Taxonomy Search, which suggests growth media for closely related organisms, helps to search for the right cultivation media for previously unculturable microorganisms. The data for this originates from the linked DSMZ database LPSN (List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature), among others. In addition, researchers can carry out a search for ingredients and their concentrations using the Medium Finder.

MediaDive also supports researchers with questions regarding the composition and production of cultivation media. For example, the production steps for each cultivation medium are listed in detail. Users also have the option of modifying stored media recipes according to their own needs. Another tool within MediaDive, the Medium Builder, is currently in the test phase. Here, researchers can create their own cultivation medium and store it in the database.

So far, the cultivation media of other bioresource centres such as the Japanese Collection of Microorganisms and the British Culture Collection of Algae & Protozoa have already been integrated, and more are to follow. The database, which has been further extended in this way, is intended to help predict new cultivation media with the use of artificial intelligence.

For more information see
Koblitz J., Halama P., Spring S., Thiel V., Baschien C., Hahnke R.L., Pester M., Overmann J., Reimer L.C. MediaDive: the expert-curated cultivation media database. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Sep 22;gkac803. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkac803