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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


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Environmental Microbiology  |  Microbial Ecology and Diversity

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett.

Received: April 26, 2021; Revised: May 21, 2021

Understanding the Access and Benefit-Sharing of Genetic Resources for Microbiology Researchers

Jonghyun Lee , Minho An and Young Hyo Chang *


Correspondence to :
Young Hyo Chang, ABS Research Support Center, KRIBB, 52 Eoeun-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejon [305-333]
Tel : 042-860-4626 , Fax : 042-879-8339, E-mail :


Following the enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol (NP), in which the sovereign rights to genetic resources of countries are recognized, new legal obligations on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) that did not exist before are now imposed on researchers. To implement the NP, many countries are introducing new procedures and regulations when a researcher wants to obtain genetic resources for commercial or non-commercial uses. It is therefore expected that resource-rich countries will adopt strong regulations to protect their genetic resources. In this regard, Korean microbiologists will need to respond to these changes so they could minimize the potential damages caused by the ABS. This paper aims to review the key contents of the Nagoya Protocol for raising its awareness among the scientific researchers and to further present specific measures they could follow accordingly to meet the ABS obligations. For example, Korean researchers do not need to acquire Prior Informed Consents (PICs) in principle when they access to Korean microbial resources for both commercial or research purpose. Nevertheless, when a foreign culture collection such as DSMZ requests for a confirmation of compliance with the Nagoya Protocol for deposit of genetic resources, Korean researchers can also apply for a PIC to the Korean government as an exception. By referring to this article, microbiologists will be able to conduct their researches in compliance with the Nagoya Protocol, and also in respect of ABS legal obligations of each resource providing country.

Keywords: Nagoya Protocol, genetic resources, access, benefit-sharing, ABS

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