Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain)
The Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) is ranked third best Belgian university according to the Times Higher Education ranking. It hosts the Earth and Life Institute (ELI), which brings together more than 300 scientists, covering a wide range of Earth and Life Sciences disciplines. Within ELI is the laboratory of mycology, which houses the mycothèque of UCLouvain (4th world-largest collection of fungi and yeasts – https://bccm.belspo.be/about-us/bccm-mucl), the Glomeromycota In vitro COllection – GINCO (1st world in vitro collection of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi – AMF), and the Center of Study of AM Monoxenics – CESAMM (research group dedicated to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi – https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/eli/elim/team-declerck.html ).
The mission of the laboratory of mycology is Research, Service to Society and Education. Its research mission is based on two major pillars: (1) agro-food mycology, which studies the role of fungi in food production processes. (2) agro-environmental mycology, which concentrates on four major thematics: (i) taxonomy, phylogeny and biodiversity of fungi in natural (e.g. canopies of tropical forests, flowers…) as well as anthropized (e.g. agricultural crops) environments; (ii) studies of trophic chains and host-pathogen or symbiont-host relationships at physiological and molecular levels (e.g. mycorrhizal fungi); (iii) 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); and (iv) production of fungal bio-effectors.