Fungi Culture Collection


  Annual Report

The Fungi Culture Collection of the Institut Pasteur (registered under the acronym UMIP in the World Directory of Collections of Cultures of Micro-organisms) is in charge of about 2500 strains of fungi (filamentous fungi and yeasts) and Actinomycetes, most of which originated from human lesions. The collection includes also strains from environmental origin (air, soil, decaying plant material, or dead invertebrates, mostly insects). In addition to specific collection activities (culture, preservation, identity and viability checking, distribution), the laboratory carried out investigations on entomopathogenic fungi.

Collection activities

The laboratory is delivering strains in pure culture to research laboratories, as well as to industrial and pharmaceutical ones and to education establishments. For instance, the laboratory provided isolates for the laboratory work of the annual Institut Pasteur Medical Mycology course, and other courses (e.g. the Medical Mycology course of the Institute of Infectiology in Bern, Switzerland) as well. Nearly 500 strains were distributed in 2006. Furthermore, identification of contaminants (from industrial process, environment…) is performed on request.

As an integral part of the Biological Resource Center of the Institut Pasteur (CRBIP), the laboratory successfully developed an organization and quality control strategy to meet in July 2005 the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001: 2000. The certification was renewed in 2006. According to OECD recommendations regarding biological resource centres (BRC), the laboratory is presently validating the methods used to control phenotypical and molecular strain characteristics.

Research and expertise in entomopathogenic fungi

Owing to the staff experience, the laboratory built up an expertise in the field of systematics, host specificity and ecology of entomopathogenic fungal species (i.e. causing lethal diseases in insects or arachnids). Most of these pathogens are encountered in Mitosporic Fungi, Zygomycetes (order Entomophthorales) and Ascomycetes (order Clavicipitales). Interestingly, Entomophthorales are the major group of fungal entomopathogens occurring in temperate and continental climates, whereas entomopathogenic Mitosporic Fungi and Clavicipitales occur mainly in humid tropical areas.

Investigations involved basically phenotypical and molecular characterization of new or poorly known fungal species which were found during field surveys carried out in the framework of collaborations with French or foreign entomologists working in various parts of the world (e.g. Central and Eastern European countries, Benin, Brazil, Réunion Island, Kenya, etc.). In any case, special attention is paid to the order Entomophthorales, whose a number of species is noteworthy through their host specificity and epizootic potential.


An adult Diptera killed by an Entomophthorale


Publications 2006 of the unit on Pasteur's references database

Activity Reports 2006 - Institut Pasteur
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