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 2700 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. Over 500 strains were distributed in 2007. Moreover, the laboratory was directly involved in training; it contributed for instance to the modular Medical Mycology course of the Institute of Infectiology in Bern, Switzerland. Furthermore, identification of contaminants (from industrial process, environment…) was performed on request, allowing the collection to be enriched with original strains.

As an integral part of the Biological Resource Centre of the Institut Pasteur (CRBIP), the laboratory successfully developed an organization and quality control strategy, to meet as early as in July 2005 the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001:2000. Further, according to OECD recommendations regarding biological resource centres (BRC), the laboratory completed in 2007 the validation process of most of the methods used to control phenotypical and molecular characteristics of strains.

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 Hypocreales). Interestingly, Entomophthorales, whose a number of species is noteworthy through their host specificity and epizootic potential, are the major group of fungal entomopathogens occurring in temperate and continental climates, whereas entomopathogenic Mitosporic Fungi and Hypocreales 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 by Pasteurian staff in the framework of collaborations with French or foreign entomologists working in various parts of the world. For instance, in 2007 surveys were performed in Austria and Kenya.

Keywords: Mycology, Strain collection, Quality control, BRC, Entomophthorales, Systematics


An adult Coleoptera killed by an Entomophthorale


Francis, C., M. Anagnou-Veroniki, M.-A. Rouffaud, C. de Bièvre and B. Papierok. 2004. Morphometric and genetic variation among strains of two related species of Erynia (Zygomycota, Entomophthorales) isolated from aphids or Diptera in a limited geographical area in Greece. J. Mycol. Med. 14:171-180.

Papierok, B. 2007. Bioassaying arthropod-pathogenic Entomophthorales in the laboratory for infective potential. In : Arthropod-pathogenic Entomophthorales: Biology, Ecology, Identification (S. Keller, ed.).- COST Action 842, EUR 22829, COST Office, Luxembourg, 98-109.

Papierok, B. 2007. Isolating, growing and storing arthropod-pathogenic Entomophthorales. In : Arthropod-pathogenic Entomophthorales: Biology, Ecology, Identification (S. Keller, ed.).- COST Action 842, EUR 22829, COST Office, Luxembourg, 66-81.

Papierok, B. and S. Balazy. 2007. Collecting arthropod-pathogenic Entomophthorales: how to find them in the field and how to collect, prepare and store the appropriate material for classical identification purpose. In : Arthropod-pathogenic Entomophthorales: Biology, Ecology, Identification (S. Keller, ed.).- COST Action 842, EUR 22829, COST Office, Luxembourg : 56-65.

Papierok, B., É. Bégaud and C. Bizet. 2007. The Biological Resource Centre of the Institut Pasteur: A dynamic tool for advanced research. Research in Microbiology 158: 718-719.

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Activity Reports 2007 - Institut Pasteur
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