VARGAS Gabriela, Ecuador
Project title: Training in in vitro culture collections management for long term conservation of Ecuadorian Fungal diversity, especially of wood-decaying polypores, including a training in taxonomy of this group
Abstract: Ecuador harbors one of the richest biodiversity in the world. Since 2008, the school of Bio-analysis, at PUCE has set up a long term strategic project which aims at strengthening the mycological expertise in Ecuador. This project started with a training provided by mycologists from MUCL, UCL in 2008 (G. Hennebert and Dr. C. Decock). This project is twofold. Its first objective is to improve the knowledge on Fungal diversity (taxonomy and ecology). Two PhD students are currently studying fungal communities of rhizosphere of plants re-colonizing old oil ponds left abandoned by companies in Amazonia. The second objective is to develop an in vitro Fungal collection for ex-situ valorization (biotechnological applications, agriculture, industry, environment).
Numerous fungal strains are now available at PUCE, and maintained in cold chambers. However, PUCE still lacks expertise in culture collection long term preservation and management.
This GTI project aims at training a PhD candidate into long term management of fungal collection at MUCL, UCL (Belgian Coordinated Collection of Micro-organisms).
At the same time, the candidate will receive a basic training in taxonomy of wood-rotting polypores (Basidiomycetes) that should open the way to a PHD thesis dealing with polypores diversity in cloud forests of Ecuador.
Training location: Université Catholique de Louvain