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BCCM/MUCL (Agro)Industrial Fungi & Yeasts Collection

BCCM certificate


Over 25,000 strains of filamentous and yeast-like fungi, representing over 3 300 species of Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes, Hyphomycetes and Zygomycetes. 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, numerous type strains and isolates of ecological and/or biotechnological importance. The collection's agro-industrial focus is reflected by its extensive holding of starter cultures for e.g. the manufacture of fermented foods, animal feed, biopesticides and biofertilisers (i.e. mycorrhizae), as well as by the availability of cultures for the cultivation of edible mushrooms or the production of important primary and secondary metabolites (i.e. antibiotics, enzymes and polysaccharides). Test and control strains used in bioassays, biodeterioration and biodegradation tests are also available.

GINCO (Glomales in vitro collection) is the first international collection of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) based exclusively on in vitro produced species. It traces its origin in the close international scientific collaboration between the Mycothèque de l'Université catholique de Louvain (MUCL, Belgium) and the ECORC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada in charge of the Canadian Collection of Fungal Cultures (CCFC, Canada). This unique collection is aimed at providing the scientific community and industrial sectors with high-quality contaminant-free in vitro-produced AMF".
Visit the GINCO Website at:


The scope of BCCM/MUCL includes fungal strains of agrofood- and other industrial as well as environmental interest.

BCCM/MUCL accepts no vertebrate-pathogenic fungi classified in group 2 and 3 of the European Union Directive 2000/54/EC and no strains isolated from substrates that imply such a pathogenicity. Strains of medical importance can be submitted to BCCM/IHEM.

Accession, control, preservation, storage and supply of filamentous fungi, yeasts and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of food, agro-industrial and environmental importance and related information in the frame of public deposits, safe deposits and patent deposits are ISO 9001:2008 certified.

All assignments with the exception of strains deposited for public access are treated strictly confidential.

  • Deposit of fungal strains

    Before sending strains it is advisable to contact BCCM/MUCL to ensure that the material to be deposited is within the collections scope and technical capability.
    Upon deposit of strains for public access or in the frame of patent applications the depositor is required to complete the corresponding BCCM/MUCL Deposit Form on which the status of the deposit (public access, patent deposit) needs to be indicated.

    • Public access:
      The depositor will receive a confirmation of the depot with the accession numbers of the deposited strains.
      Deposits of strains for public access are without costs for the depositor.

    • Safe deposits:
      Upon deposit, the depositor must complete the corresponding BCCM/MUCL Contract Form . Two options are possible: either the material is deposited for an undefined period (that can be terminated by the depositor each year up to one month before a new civil year starts), or the material is deposited for a predefined period (that can be extended). For the extension of safe deposit contracts for a predefined period, the depositor will be contacted by BCCM/MUCL. For the termination of safe deposit contracts for an undefined period, the depositor must complete the BCCM/MUCL Extension/Termination Form.
      For related costs see pricelist.

    • Patent deposits:
      Upon deposit, the depositor is required to complete the international accession form BCCM/MUCL/BP/1 as well as the bilateral contract form BCCM/MUCL/DBT1.
      The procedure for making deposits for patent purposes is outlined in the related BCCM Manual.
      For related costs see pricelist.

  • Distribution of biological material

    Biological material might be requested based on a particular strain identified by its MUCL number. However, not all strains maintained at the BCCM/MUCL collection are listed in the online database and the printed catalogue and we encourage clients to provide the species name and/or the purpose for which a strain is required. BCCM/MUCL staff will then assist with the choice of the optimal strain.

    • Cultures: Strains are routinely distributed as actively growing cultures on agar slants. On request BCCM/MUCL may distribute strains in lyophylised or frozen form. The distribution of strains in a frozen form is technically more complex and the additional cost for packaging and shipment will be at the charge of the client.
      For more information on ordering microbial resources click here.

    • DNA: DNA samples of MUCL strains can be prepared and distributed on request.

    • Biomass for starter cultures: Fungal biomass for batch inoculations or the extraction of fungal metabolites can be produced under controlled environmental conditions.

  • Freeze-drying service

    Biological materials accepted under the scope of BCCM/MUCL can be lyophilised in glass ampoules routinely utilised for storing microbial strains or in larger quantities up to a maximum of 20 x 50 ml per batch.
    For related costs see pricelist.

  • Isolation and identification of fungal strains

    Microbial audits and the isolation and identification of fungal strains from a wide variety of substrates, excluding those of clinical origin, cover all groups of fungi.

    • Detection, enumeration, isolation: BCCM/MUCL offers analyses of ex-situ samples from agro-food and other industries and on-site sampling at their production sites, in buildings and from building materials, from works of art and other substrates (e.g. food, animal feed, cosmetics, packaging materials) to detect possible fungal colonisation. An assessment of the fungal damage can be issued. The enumeration and isolation of fungal strains, usually followed by their identification, may allow conclusions for the remediation of the fungal colonisation and its causes.

    • Identification: Different identification techniques are applied based on preliminary tests or in agreement with the specific requirements of the client. Available techniques are light- and scanning-electron microscopy, physiological profiling, DNA-sequencing of ribosomal and protein-coding genes and DNA-fingerprinting (randomly primed PCR and microsatellite primed PCR). It is preferred that living pure cultures are submitted for identification together with all relevant information on the substrate of isolation.

  • Material resistance testing

    The resistance of a wide range of materials (e.g. adhesives, cork, packaging materials, paint, textiles, wood) for fungal damage can be performed using protocols and control strains according to international standards.

  • Bioassays of fungicides and fungistatic compounds

    The performance of antifungal agents can be tested using protocols and control strains according to international standards.

  • Educational services

    General training in mycology can be offered under different objectives:

    • Isolation, culture and preservation methods
    • Conventional and molecular identification
    • Taxonomy

    Representative strains of the major taxonomic groups of fungi have been selected for teaching purposes and are available at a reduced price (see pricelist). Images of the morphological characteristics, permanent slides and summaries of genetic and physiological properties may also be provided.

Scientific context

Systematic mycology:
  1. collection and isolation of fungi from novel or unique substrata and poorly explored habitats, e.g.through several international collaborations;

  2. taxonomy and nomenclature of fungi and yeasts, with emphasis on the study of wood-decaying Basidiomycetes, endo- and ectomycorrhiza as well as Deuteromycetes;

  3. phylogenetic systematics, based on the analysis of molecular characters (PCR- RFLP, RAPD, PFGE and DNA sequence alignment, including mitochondrial DNA);

  4. morphology and morphogenesis of sexual and asexual reproduction;

  5. interest of primary and secondary fungal metabolites in fungal taxonomy;

  6. phenotypical and molecular characterisation of yeasts.

Applied mycology:
  1. identification and expression of genetic determinants for mycotoxin production in fungal populations;

  2. development of computer-assisted and miniaturised systems for high-throughput automated identification;

  3. screening for strains which present enzymes, or metabolic profiles of biotechnological interest;

  4. improvement of techniques for lyophilisation and cryopreservation of fungal cultures;

  5. normalisation of the certification, distribution and use of fungal test, control or bioassay strains in agro-industry.

Organisation chart

Further information & contact

Promoter: Prof. Dr Stéphane Declerck

Manager: Prof. Dr Stéphane Declerck

Curator: Dr Cony Decock


Prof. Dr Stéphane Declerck
Mycothèque de l'Université catholique de Louvain

Visiting address:
Croix du Sud 3
Building Kellner, 1st floor
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (map & directions)

Postal address:
Croix du Sud 2, box L7.05.06
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Phone: +32-10-47.37.42
Fax: +32-10-45.15.01

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