BCCM/MUCL develops and preserves the collection of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and filamentous fungi and yeasts related to environment, agriculture, industry or food. We also maintain all associated information, facilitate its valorization and provide services to third parties. All medical and veterinary fungi are maintained by BCCM/IHEM.
BCCM/MUCL is embedded in the Laboratory of Mycology, which is part of the Earth and Life Institute (ELI), in particular the Pole of Applied Microbiology (ELIM) of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain).
Keystone elements in the history of the Mycothèque de l’Université catholique de Louvain since its foundation in 1894 by Prof. P. Biourge at the Brewery High School of the Catholic University of Leuven include the discovery of Griseofulvin in 1939, the recognition of the collection by the World Federation of Culture Collections in 1972, the recognition as an international deposit authority for the deposit of fungal material in the framework of the Budapest treaty in 1992 and the ISO 9001 certification in 2005.
BCCM/MUCL research is mainly focused on the areas:
- Fungal diversity in natural and anthropological ecosystems
- Agro-food: food and feed transformation and spoilage
- Fungal-plant interactions
Activities typically performed at BCCM/MUCL are oriented towards the
- Identification, taxonomy and classification
- Phylogenetic sequence analyses for gene and species evolution
- Detection and cultivation
of different fungal groups (lignocellulolytic fungi, fungi involved in food processing and spoilage, fermentative yeasts, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, fungal pathogens in tropical environments).
Scope of the biological material
- Fungal diversity of environmental, agricultural, industrial, and food significance.
- Type, reference, and test strains.
- Strains for use in fermented foods; biocontrol, biopesticides, biofertilisers and bioremediation; edible mushrooms; production of primary and secondary metabolites (i.e. antibiotics, enzymes and polysaccharides), etc.
- Not accepted: animal and human pathogens mentioned in the European Union Directive 2000/54/EC and its updates. Concerning medically relevant fungi, please refer to BCCM/IHEM.
The collection holds over 30,000 strains of filamentous and yeast-like fungi, representing more than 5000 species and 1400 genera.
The mycological herbarium contains about 40,000 specimen.
BCCM/MUCL houses the Penicillium collections of P. Biourge (founder of the collection in 1892) and G.L. Hennebert, as well as the UCL brewery yeast collection.
Accession, control, preservation, storage and supply of BCCM/MUCL collection material and related information in the frame of public deposits, safe deposits and patent deposits are ISO 9001:2015 certified.