Unit: Fungi Culture Collection

Director: Bernard PAPIEROK

The Fungi Culture Collection of the Institut Pasteur is in charge of more than 2300 strains of fungi (filamentous fungi and yeasts) and Actinomycetes, most of which originated from human lesions. In addition to specific collection activities (culture, conservation, identity and viability checking, distribution), the laboratory carried out molecular investigations on systematics and phylogeny of potentially pathogenic Entomophthorales of genera Basidiobolus and Conidiobolus.

The Fungi Culture Collection of the Institut Pasteur is in charge of more than 2300 strains of fungi (filamentous fungi and yeasts) and Actinomycetes, most of which originated from human lesions. This collection includes also strains from environmental origin (air, soil, decaying plant material, dead invertebrates, mostly insects). To keep the collection is the basic purpose of the laboratory. In addition, research investigations are carried out on original isolates.

The laboratory keeps strains in checked pure culture and delivers them to the interested research laboratories, as well as to industrial and pharmaceutical ones and to education establishments. More than 600 strains were distributed in 2004. Furthermore, strain identification is performed on request. The laboratory provided also most of the isolates used in the laboratory work at the 2004 Institut Pasteur Medical Mycology course. As the Fungi Culture Collection is involved directly in the Biological Resource Centre of the Institut Pasteur project, the laboratory developed organization and quality control strategy.

Furthermore, research activities are dedicated to characterization, systematics and ecology of filamentous fungi. Owing to the experience of the staff, these investigations focused on entomophthoralean species (Zygomycetes) bearing pathogenic potential for humans and for insects (genera Basidiobolus and Conidiobolus).

Finally, owing to collaborations developed in the framework of European actions, the laboratory got involved in the study of systematics and ecology of Entomophthorales responsible for mycoses in insect populations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Molecular characterization of strains of Basidiobolus spp. (Marie JUILLARD-CONDAT, Marie-Ange ROUFFAUD, Martine KIREDJIAN, Bernard PAPIEROK)

As in 2003 the laboratory gave in 2004 greater importance to the molecular study of strains of closely related species of the genus Basidiobolus. Indeed, this genus, together with the genus Conidiobolus, is outstanding owing to the fact that it is mostly saprophytic; however, several species are more or less regularly isolated from lesions in humans or some other mammals, or from invertebrate cadavers. Moreover, a few Conidiobolus species are only known as naturally occurring entomopathogens. To date, investigations were devoted to sequencing of the rDNA ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region only. In 2004, attemps were made to study the SSU mtDNA.

A PCR product of ca 600 bp was first obtained. Sequence analysis of the initial fragment underlined a high homogeneity between most of the strains investigated, whatever they originated from plant decaying material, reptile faeces, insect cadavers or human lesions. Then, TAIL-PCR was performed for amplification of adjacent fragments. The method proved to be pertinent when using appropriate primers. Sequences of new amplified fragments appeared highly homogeneous.

Systematics and ecology of entomopathogenic Entomophthorales in Central and Eastern Europe (Bernard PAPIEROK)

In 2003, the collaboration established with Rudolf WEGENSTEINER (Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection, University of Agricultural Sciences, Vienna) led to the discovery of rather poorly known entomophthoromycoses in Austrian populations of Homoptera other than Aphididae (Psyllidae, Delphacidae, Cercopidae). The involved species belonged to genera Erynia and Zoophthora. The corresponding strains were studied further in 2004, together with strains of a species of Zoophthora found in June 2004 on Coleoptera in the eastern part of Poland (collaboration with Cezary TKACZUK, Department of Plant Protection, University of Podlasie, Siedlce, Poland, in the framework of a COST Action).

Keywords: Mycology, Strain collection, Entomophthorales, Basidiobolus, characterization, mitochondrial DNA

Activity Reports 2004 - Institut Pasteur

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