• Institution: Agro Food Microbial Culture Collection
  • Acronym: ITEM
  • Location:
    Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (ISPA-CNR)Via G. Amendola 122/O
    70126 Bari
  • Website: http://www.ispa.cnr.it/Collection
  • Correspondent:
    Dr. Giancarlo Perrone
    Tel.: +39 0805929363
    Fax: +39 0805929374
    e-mail: item@eccosite.org

Members holdings

The ITEM Microbial Culture Collection of ISPA (Institute of Sciences and of Food Production) includes more than 13,000 strains belonging to various agro-food microorganisms with phytopathological and toxicological significance; about 6,500 are available as public resources to the scientific community. Thousands strains belonging to toxigenic genera of Aspergillus, Alternaria, Fusarium, and Penicillium, represented a great biodiversity in the ITEM collection to deepen the knowledge on fungal biology and strategies development for reducing mycotoxin contamination. In addition, about 300 yeasts and 400 lactic bacteria strains with peculiar properties has been also preserved and characterized for autochthonous industrial fermentation of typical Apulian wines, table olive and dairy products.

Services offered

Safe deposit of cultures

The ITEM offers a confidential safe deposit service for those valuable cultures for which patent protection has not been sought. Cultures will be stored frozen (below -150° C) and/or on agar.

Deposition and preservation of cultures in the public collection.

Cultures can be deposited in the public collection and are available for any third parties

Identification of fungal strains.

The identification service is performed on a confidential basis using morphological and molecular criteria (sequences, specific primers and AFLP profiles, etc.). This services is available only within a research project and must involve at least 10-20 strains.


Research at ISPA related to ITEM Culture Collection

  • Research on biodiversity, phylogenetics and population genetic of filamentous fungi, mainly on toxigenic fungi
  • Identification of toxigenic fungi and evaluation of mycotoxigenic risks
  • Development of new molecular probes to detect microbial contamination
  • Development of new diagnostic methods and biomarkers
  • Development of new methods to isolate, characterize and quantify metabolites,
  • Development of detoxification strategies.

 In recent years at ISPA, particular efforts have been made to analyze the etiology, epidemiology and ecophysiology of toxigenic fungi and their ability to produce and accumulate mycotoxin in pre- and post-harvest of the most important crops and agro-food chain, especially in the Mediterranean area.