The laboratory of mycology is a biological resource center dedicated to fungi. Headed by Professor Stephan Declerck, it comprises a team of 30 scientists, technicians and administrative staff. The laboratory combines basic research with applied research, focusing on (i) arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (CESAMM team) and (ii) lignocellulolytic fungi, fungi involved in food processing, yeasts and fungal pathogens. The laboratory hosts on an exceptional heritage of 30 000 living strains representing more than 1400 genera and 5000 species, preserved within the BCCM/MUCL collection.
Two pillars structure the research activities: agri-food mycology, which studies the role of fungi in food production processes; and agri-environmental mycology, which concentrates on four major thematics :
- taxonomy, phylogeny and biodiversity of fungi in natural (e.g. canopies of tropical forests, flowers), as well as anthropized (e.g. agricultural crops) environments;
- studies of trophic chains and host-pathogen or symbiont-host relationships at physiological and molecular levels (e.g. arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi);
- use of fungi in bio-stimulation of plants (e.g. potato, maize, wheat, banana), bio-protection towards biotic (e.g. plant pests and diseases) and abiotic (e.g. drought, salinity) stresses as well as bio-remediation of contaminated soil (e.g. degradation of PAHs);
- production of fungal bio-effectors.