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Submission of New Accessions

The value of the culture collection is a function of the quality and diversity of germplasm in its holdings. We are constantly searching for new and unique germplasm that can benefit researchers. We have selected eight criteria for accessions of special interest.

Each accession contributed to INVAM generally consists of contents of various types of pot cultures that have been grown in a greenhouse for some length of time (usually 4-5 months). Contents are extremely varied, but they usually consist of dried growth medium (a soil; soil mixed with sand, perlite, peat or vermiculite; or a mix of any of these ingredients minus soil) and root fragments. One or more arbuscular fungi are present intraradically as mycelium, vesicles, and in some cases spores and extraradically as mycelium, auxiliary cells, and spores.

I. Field-collected inoculum

We cannot accept raw field soils containing indigenous fungi for culture development because of the danger of introducing foreign contaminants into our culturing system. Exceptions are made with specific and prearranged contractual agreements or where a plant community is being irreversibly destroyed or altered such that mortality of indigenous fungi is an expected outcome. In these rare cases, cultures are set up the growth room and watched carefully. It should be borne in mind that culture outcomes from “first generation” trap cultures are highly varied, depending on habitat of origin. If productivity is low (either in mycorrhizal colonization or sporulation), the culture is set up for an additional 4-month propagation cycle.

If soil pathogens (especially plant pathogenic nematodes, sclerotia-forming fungi, or oomycete root colonizers are detected at any stage of culture development, the culture is either destroyed by autoclaving or the fungi isolated and recultured from extracted and cleaned spores (the latter only feasible when the contaminant is unable to colonize spores).

II. Cultured inoculum

We can accept any fungal germ plasm that has been propagated in at least one pot culture cycle. It makes no difference if the culture consists of one species or if it is a species assemblage (trap culture, culture with contaminant fungi, etc.). In fact, the presence of two or more species increases the range of diversity in the collection and so their submission is encouraged.

Each entry, provided that it is viable and in good condition, entitles the contributor to one free culture from INVAM. If an entry is a mixed culture, the contributor can elect to receive one of the species present without charge after it has been propagated as a morphologically homogeneous population.

It is important that the contributor fill out the INVAM deposit form (in PDF format) and submit this form with the germplasm. The information detailed on this form is transferred to our accession database and provides all the initial documentation on the fungal isolate(s). The form also signals to INVAM (i) whether the deposited material is accessible to the public or is to remain proprietary and (ii) whether the depositor wishes to receive all information on identity or status of entries after the first propagation cycle in INVAM or has no need for such data.

Other than identification of fungal species present, information collected at WVU on new accessions generally does not become available until after the first propagation cycle (between 3-5 months). Any contributor may keep information on their entries proprietary as long as a formal agreement stating conditions and restrictions is drawn up and signed at the time germ plasm is submitted to INVAM.