The Mycology unit is a contracted unit (USC) in partnership with INRAE. Its activities focus on pathogenic fungi and oomycetes (a class of filamentous micro-organisms) affecting all cultivated plants, forests, and ornamental plants. It is also a member of the Laboratory of Excellence for Advanced Research on the Biology of Tree and Forest Ecosystems (LabEx ARBRE).
The unit’s research activities are divided into three main themes:
- the development and validation of tools for the detection and identification of fungal and oomycete plant pathogens, for use in an official, international framework. The unit has developed multiple detection tests using molecular tools (PCR, real-time PCR, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)) targeting a wide range of these organisms, the majority of which are regulated in Europe;
- epidemiological surveillance and knowledge with regard to these parasitic fungi and oomycetes. The unit studies the conditions in which new fungal diseases emerge and spread. It also describes new host/parasite relationships;
- the evaluation and utilisation of new detection and identification technologies, especially techniques based on high-throughput DNA sequencing (metagenomics, comparative genomics). The unit carries out a number of activities involving these cutting-edge technologies to benefit its first two research themes.