The Research Institute of the Petroleum Industry (RIPI) has established a databank of oil biotechnology for the first time in the country, the RIPI bio-data bank said. Behnam Rasekh said the bank contains more than 400 microbes identified by researchers. He noted that an important task assigned to RIPI is to preserve the biodiversity of the oil sector. Biobank is an infrastructure required for progress in biology and biotechnology, Rasekh said, adding that the bank established by RIPI is one of the best as it conforms with international standards and contains microbes that could be cultured. Iran is the only country holding oil microbe collection in the world, the official stated. “The tests conducted by RIPI microbiology and biotechnology group includes molecular biology, industrial microbiology, environmental microbiology, biochemistry, fungus and anaerobic. More than 25 qualified researchers are contributing to the biobank,” said Rasekh. “The main task assigned to this databank is to support oil biotechnology projects including identification of biochemical and molecular structures as well as short-term and long-term identification of microbes,” he added. Rasekh said most microbes in this databank have been separated from oil fields in the country. “Preserving biodiversity is in fact safeguarding bioreserves in the country for the future generations. Therefore this biobank plays a significant role in the country’s independence,” he said.