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The Biological Resource Centre for the Environment (BRC4Env)

Entomopathogenic bacteria

These collections are dedicated to bacteria-nematode complexes for insect biocontrol and for discovering new bioactive molecules. See also the nematode collection.

The bacterial resource belonging to the Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus genera (family Enterobacteriaceae), has been created since the end of 1980’s by Noel Boemare.  Our laboratory is considered as a reference laboratory in taxonomy and phylogeny of these bacterial genera. We have a unique collection of Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus, bacteria pathogenic to many insect larvae. These bacteria also maintain a mutualistic relationship with nematodes from the families Steinernema and Heterorhabditis respectively, in which the bacteria occupy the gut of the infective juvenile (IJ) stage. Entomopathogenic bacteria are characterized using a polyphasic approach. The collection includes 650 strains with 400 strains of Xenorhabdus (27 species), 250 strains of Photorhabdus (4 species and 15 sub species). Bacterial collection is conserved in glycerol at -80°C and duplicated in liquid nitrogen. A genomic sequence databases contained 24 genomes of Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus (PhotoScope and XenorhabduScope, hosted at Genoscope, CEA, Evry),

Our research activities take into account taxonomy, genomics, mechanisms of the infectious process of the pathogens (bacteria and nematodes) and the immune response of the insect host.

The team has partnered with a young innovative company in biotechnology with the aim to develop new classes of antibiotics led to 3 collaborative research programs, 3 patents and 2 licence agreements for new antimicrobial molecules,

Contact: Sylvie Pagès,

The bacterial collection is deposited at the UMR1333 DGIMI UM-INRA Diversité, Génomes & Interactions Microorganismes-Insectes (DGIMI) inserted in the research group “Integrative biology of interactions between bacteria, insects & entomopathogenic nematodes” (BIBINE) in Montpellier, France.