Tartu Ülikooli loodusmuuseum ja botaanikaaed

Microbiological collections

The microbiological collections include strains of fungi and bacteria. The collection is unique in focusing on the preservation of microbial strains isolated from fungal fruitbodies. The fungal strains deposited in the collection have been isolated into pure culture from material originating from Estonia and various regions of the world, collected by researchers of the University of Tartu.

The main part of the collections is formed by parasitic microfungi from the phylum Ascomycota, supplemented by strains of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi representing Basidiomycota and other fungal groups. All bacterial strains have been isolated from mushroom fruitbodies. Some of the fungal strains have been donated or obtained via exchange from researchers and collections abroad.

Fungal strains are stored on agar slants prepared from malt or cornmeal extract or on modified Melin-Norkrans medium at +6 °C or +18 °C. Majority of the fungal strains are stored in 10% glycerol aqueous solution in cryovials at -80 °C, where also all bacterial strains are stored in 50% glycerol solution.

  • > 3500 fungal strains, including 30 ex-type strains
  • > 500 bacterial strains 


The Tartu Fungal Culture Collection was founded in 1970 by the academician Erast Parmasto at the Institute of Zoology and Botany of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (later merged with the Estonian Agricultural University, currently Estonian University of Life Sciences).

In 2000, the collection of living fungal cultures was registered at the World Federation for Culture Collection (WFCC) under the acronym TFC – Tartu Fungal Culture Collection. In 2006, a subcollection of the TFC was established at the University of Tartu Natural History Museum.

Fungal and bacterial strains are actively used in research at the University of Tartu and foreign research institutions, as well as in applied research beyond these.

Head of Microbiological Collections Kadri Põ
Curator of Fungal Culture Collection Irma Zettur
Curator of Bacterial Culture Collection Mari Pent

TFC subcollection at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

The collection contains strains of about 370 species of fungi. The majority of deposited strains represent wood-rotting fungi. In recent years, isolates of endophytic fungi and forest pathogens have been added by researchers of the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

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