Australia explores collection of fungi to address food safety issues

With the world’s best collection of xerophilic fungi at NSW DPI

A priceless collection of fungi has been replicated for the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to support research and management of biosecurity and food safety issues.

NSW DPI Plant Pathology and Mycology Herbarium curator, Jordan Bailey, said the fungal culture collection of Australia’s national science agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has played an important role in Australian food industry research since its establishment by Dr John Pitt in 1970.

“The original Melbourne-based CSIRO collection contains fungal strains dating back more than 100 years and we are lucky to have a copy of this valuable resource at our Orange Agricultural Institute (OAI),” Dr Bailey said.

This unique and invaluable collection of fungal cultures will be accessible for researchers in the scientific community and food industry, including the NSW Food Authority, who worked with NSW DPI and CSIRO to establish the OAI collection.

CSIRO scientist Nai Tran-Dinh said, “The collection is an important reference source for strains of species which cause post-harvest diseases and food spoilage and those used in food production, such as Penicillium roqueforti for making blue cheese.”

Image credit- shutterstock

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