BCCM/IHEM fungi and yeast collection

Unit responsible: 

Collecting, preserving and distributing high quality fungal strains related to human and animal health

We preserve and redistribute fungal strains showing a scientific and economic interest. We focus on moulds and yeasts that have an impact on human and animal health like pathogens isolated from infections, allergenic species or mycotoxin producing species.

We also perform identifications and isolations of fungi, molecular and physiological characterisation of strains, and other fungal analyses. We help also customers needing storage and maintenance of their own strains, either as safe deposits or in the context of a patent application.

We have about 16.000 different strains in our collection which constitute the base of our scientific research.

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Our customers are private companies, institutes and academia. They need strains for their research and development of their activities, to test (new) drugs or materials, for quality control purposes, to validate procedures, etc.

We keep our strains in an inactive form. The two main methods for long-term storage are freeze-drying and cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen vapour.

We distribute strains in freeze-dried form, in sealed glass ampoules. On request, active cultures or pure DNA samples can be provided. Next to this, we have developed a cost-efficient method to distribute larger series of strains, using CryoBeads in micro-well plates. These series primarily have teaching and validation purposes.

We have integrated MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry as a new identification tool. Based on the reference strains in the BCCM/IHEM collection, we were able to develop the largest known database of reference spectra for filamentous fungi. Our MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry identification is more accurate than morphological identification, while being faster than DNA-based identification.

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