COllectionS of Micro-OrganimS (COSMIOS)


©Anne Legrève – Alternaria: plant pathogenic fungus, agent of leaf spot disease and other diseases affecting a wide range of plant species ©Mélissa Nyamabu - Penicillium crustosum (mould that can damage food, especially protein-rich foods such as meats and cheeses) ©MUCL – Rhizophagus irregularis: this arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus is used in agriculture to increase crop yields Cheese Myxomycetes

Technical and scientific expertise

  • Isolation and purification of microorganisms (prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses) from food and environmental matrices, but also from animals and plants
  • Identification and characterisation of microorganisms by conventional and molecular techniques
  • Conservation of microorganisms in a stable manner – from short to very long term – and according to ad hoc technologies
  • Management – according to the appropriate international standards – of collections (input, output, management and distribution)
  • Valorisation of microorganisms in the agricultural, agri-food and medical sectors, through the implementation of screening for biocontrol agents and/or antagonistic molecules, and, more generally, for all activities of interest
  • Taxonomy
  • Applied microbiology
  • Biotechnology
  • Training of users, students, PhD students and researchers

Main equipment

Over 50,000 isolates of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms.

  • Viruses: bacteriophages, plant viruses and viroids
  • Bacteria: food (including pathogens), environmental, phytopathogenic, and others
  • Archaea including halo-archaea
  • Protists
  • Chromatids
  • Fungi: plant pathogens, filamentous, yeasts and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)


  • Study of the diversity of microorganisms in the environment and agriculture and in association with food
  • Industrial applications:
    • fermentation
    • animal feed
    • biopesticides
    • biofertilisers
    • screening of microbial molecules of interest (antibiotics and enzymes)

Services available to

  • UCLouvain students and researchers
  • Non-UCLouvain parties