Fungi Culture Collection  


  Annual Report

The Fungi Culture Collection of the Institut Pasteur (registered under the acronym UMIP in the World Directoryof 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 the laboratory carried out investigations on entomopathogenic fungi.

Collection activities

Basically collection activities include culture, identity and viability checking, preservation, and distribution of strains. Fungal cultures, either freeze-dried or growing on agar slant, are delivered to research laboratories, as well as to industrial and pharmaceutical ones and to education establishments. From 400 to more than 500 strains are distributed a year. In late 2007 and 2008 new strains from clinical origin (such as strains of Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp., dematiaceous fungi, Mucorales) or from environment were incorporated into the collection. Furthermore, identification of contaminants (from industrial process, environment…) was performed on request.

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, the laboratory was in 2008 involved in the preparation of the French norm dedicated to biological resource centres (BRC) according to OECD recommendations.

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. By contrast entomopathogenic Mitosporic Fungi and Hypocreales occur mainly in humid tropical areas.

Investigations involved basically surveys carried out by Pasteurian staff in the framework of collaborations with foreign or French entomologists working in various parts of the world. In 2008 research focused on fungi pathogenic to insects and spiders respectively in Austrian and French forest environments, resulting in isolation and characterization of new or poorly known fungal species.

Keywords: Mycology, Strain collection, Quality control, BRC, Entomopathogenic fungi, Systematics


Zygospore of Absidia cœrula (Mucorales) with characteristic appendages


Kiredjian, M.2007. Caulobacter. In : Précis de bactériologie clinique (J. Freney, F. Renaud, W. Hansen & C. Bollet, eds).- Ed. ESKA, Paris, France, 1201-1203.

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.

  Web Site

More informations on our web site

Activity Reports 2009 - Institut Pasteur
If you have problems with this Web page, please write to